Before he travelled the solar system in The Expanse or took on bloodthirsty zombies in The Walking Dead, Chad L. Coleman walked the streets of Baltimore as Dennis "Cutty" Wise in HBO's Emmy nominated series The Wire.
Now, over a decade since the show wrapped, Coleman opens up in an exclusive interview with OK! about his experience on the crime drama and the friendships he made along the way — specifically with late actor Michael K. Williams, who he refers to as a "beautiful soul" who made an incredible impact on the people around him.
"God rest his soul. I loved that brother dearly," The Walking Dead alum tells OK!, noting that although they didn't work in actual scenes together, they were still "really tight friends" throughout their shared years on the show, which he described as both "fun" and "intense."
"Mike was just a beautiful soul. Incredibly talented, a huge heart," he explains of the late actor.
As OK! reported, Williams passed away last year due to an accidental fentanyl-related overdose. He was tragically found dead in his Brooklyn penthouse on September 6, and the N.Y.P.D. immediately opened an investigation into who sold Williams the fatal dose of narcotics.
"Everybody faces challenges, you know," Coleman adds of Williams. "But he truly cared more about people than he cared for himself, to be honest with you. And he gave tremendously."
"He walked the walk in the community," he continues to praise the Lovecraft Country lead, who "tried to change people's lives and had profound effects on people."
Coleman then goes on to tell a touching story of how the Boardwalk Empire actor even chose to raise an ex-girlfriend's children as his own. "He did that," he says of the touching decision. "How many men do you know that are in acting and entertainment that would do that? It's almost unheard of, you know? But he did it. He literally raised those kids."
Coleman — who currently stars in Seth McFarlane's space comedy The Orville — added that Williams could always be found "in the community helping people."
"The dude was tremendous," he notes. "When you say 'true blue,' the guy was true blue, you know?"
"But it also is a cautionary tale, people," he says, as his voice goes soft. "Careful," Coleman emphasizes, "You gotta make really wise choices when it comes to your body and what you put in it."
On February 2, four defendants were taken into custody for allegedly selling Williams the drugs that resulted in his tragic passing.
"The Southern District of New York and our law enforcement partners will not give up," U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement of the arrests. "We will bring every tool to bear. And we will continue to hold accountable the dealers who push this poison, exploit addiction, and cause senseless death."