Michael K. Williams to Play an Openly Gay Vietnam Vet in New Role

Michael K. Williams

Michael K. Williams to Play an Openly Gay Vietnam Vet in New Role

The actor was cast as the lead in the series Hap and Leonard.

Published March 12, 2015

He has starred in television blockbusters like The Wire and Boardwalk Empire, and now Michael K. Williams is making another major move in his career. The actor has been cast as the lead in Sundance's Hap and Leonard, where he will play an openly gay Vietnam war veteran who struggles with anger issues.


According to IndieWire, Hap and Leonard is an original series that chronicles the story of an unexpected friendship between two men. Williams will play the openly gay lead character of Leonard Pine, who was raised by his homophobic uncle. Due to this unsupportive relationship, Pine was forced to lean on Hap, a white, working-class laborer, for support. Hap, who is yet to be cast, has served some time in prison for refusing to be drafted and serve in the Vietnam war. He ends up, years later, working on a plantation picking roses with very limited financial resources, but he still has Pine, his best friend, by his side.

The drama, set in the non-progressive rural South of the 1980s, is produced by Sundance Studios and was adapted from Joe Lansdale's Hap and Leonard novels, novellas and short stories. Sundance TV ordered six hour-long episodes of Hap and Leonard, which is set to debut in early 2016.

Aside from his leading role in Hap and Leonard, Williams is also confirmed as the lead in the Will Ferrell-executive produced series The Spoils Before Dying. He will star as pianist Rock Banyon, who becomes the prime suspect in a murder case after his lead singer and occasional lover is found dead in a car with another man.

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(Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Written by Moriba Cummings


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