Jonathan Majors Pens Touching Tribute to Michael K. Williams
Majors and Williams first worked together on the 2017 mini-series When We Rise, in which they both played LGBTQ activist Ken Jones at different parts of his life. Although they shared no scenes, Majors said, playing the same character created a strong bond between them, which later served as “the bedrock” of their second project together, Lovecraft Country.
Majors said ahead of Lovecraft Country, he and Williams made a promise “to be our brother’s keeper,” to “look after each other, on-screen and off. We were aware of the challenges — that the characters we were to play held a mirror up to both of us — and the expense of spirit to tell this story we both knew would require a herculean amount of our private selves… In this case, the love, respect and trust that was shared off-screen as men, as Black men, as artists, as spiritual beings and at times tormented souls, catapulted us onto the screen.”
Powerful as that covenant was in their working relationship, Majors noted Williams lived by it even when it came to more quotidian matters, like, “picking up the bill, buying me underwear in San Francisco, as I had somehow run out of clean underthings, or teaching me the nuances of cologne and candle shopping.”
Majors closed his tribute by saying: “On this day my heart sits in pieces, to have lost this warrior, this ferocious angel, this unique artist, my friend, the protector of the promise and my brother. Words fail, but I feel him near, watching over us all. Everyone he touched will understand that he is not far away. Though gone, he’s closer than we think. Resting finally, taking his joy and might to another space and continuing with fervor the pledge ‘I am my brother’s keeper,’ smiling that toothy grin, his eyes shining and his raspy voice whispering, ‘I love you,’ only now sporting his newly minted wings.”