The Birds of Prey actress unveiled a collection of on-set photos with Williams on Instagram, complete with a heart-felt caption that recalled both her initial denial of the actor’s death and the precious moments she shared with her co-star.
“I still can’t make sense of it,” she wrote. “Perhaps it’s selfish of me to want to hold onto this beautiful man that came into my life & forever changed it…”
Williams died on Monday, September 6 at his home in Brooklyn. He was 54.
Smollett’s Leti Lewis appeared alongside Williams’ Montrose Freeman in HBO’s Lovecraft Country, which is up for multiple awards at the 73rd annual Emmy Awards on Sunday. Williams, who is nominated for the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series honor, was supposed to join the rest of his Lovecraft Country crew in the coming days, Smollett said.
“He was supposed to be here with us this week in LA for the Emmys. He was supposed to see how big [my son] Hunter is, we were gonna dance, celebrate, cry,” she wrote. “Instead our brother was laid to rest today.”
The actress’ Instagram post went on to praise Williams for his “bravery and sacrifice.” For Smollett, she, Jonathan Majors and Williams shared a connection like “the three musketeers.” She said they had their “souls tied” through the experience of working on the HBO series that deals with intergenerational trauma, racism and more.
Having processed the heartbreak of Williams’ death, Smollett added that she found some solace in knowing that the actor is “finally free, dancing, being mighty, showing the angels how to really get it.”
Beyond the photo compilation, Smollett also shared a video of a birthday celebration for Williams on the set of Lovecraft Country.
“#ripmichaelkwilliams We love you,” she captioned the clip. Watch it below.
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