Michael K. Williams Michael K. Williams

Michael K. Williams, who portrayed one of the most memorable characters on HBO's The Wire, has admitted that he did so while using cocaine and marijuana.

In an interview with The New Jersey Star Ledger, Williams says he would go on days-long drug binges after becoming addicted in 2004. "I was playing with fire," Williams said. "It was just a matter of time before I got caught and my business ended up on the cover of a tabloid or I went to jail or, worse, I ended up dead. When I look back on it now, I don't know how I didn't end up in a body bag."

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Williams, who played the gay, shotgun-wielding stick-up boy Omar Little on the acclaimed HBO drama, said his struggle with addiction became even harder when people on the street began to respond to his fictional alter ego. "Eventually, I got so sick and tired of this charade," he said. "No one who was in my circle, who knew me as Mike, was allowing me to get high. I had to slip away to do drugs. I had to hide it. I'd be gone for days at a time. I was lonely in that part of my life. I was broke, broken and beat up. Exhausted. Empty."

Now, Williams, who currently stars as Chalky White on HBO's Boardwalk Empire says he's been able to bury Omar — and the habits from that time of his life — for good. "I finally said, 'I can't do this no more.' I didn't want to end up dead," he said. "In the end, I was more comfortable with Omar's skin than my own. That was a problem... I had to stop trying to be Omar and just be Mike."