williams the gambler

*In “The Gambler,” Mark Wahlberg plays a literature professor whose rampant high-stakes gambling problem eventually has him beholden to gangsters…one of them, played by the brilliant Michael K. Williams.

The role is just the latest in an impressive lineup of bad men the Brooklyn actor has played, including “The Wire’s” stickup man Omar Little and “Boardwalk Empire’s” neighborhood boss Albert “Chalky” White.

wahlberg the gambler

In the midst of his gambling spiral, Wahlberg’s Jim Bennett borrows from Neville and offers his own life as collateral. Williams believes Neville sees something familiar in Jim once they cross paths.

“Jim is a man who appears to have everything – status, money, education, good looks – and people look at Neville, I think, in a similar fashion – chicks, money, power, respect. They’re both searching. They both want something else out of life. The trappings of their world start to suffocate them. I think that’s what he finds attractive in Jim.”

Michael K. Williams as Chalky White in HBO's "Boardwalk Empire"

Michael K. Williams as Chalky White in HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire”

“The Gambler” marks the second project together for Williams and Wahlberg following “Boardwalk Empire,” where the latter served as an executive producer.

Below, both actors reveal what it’s like to work with each other in front of the camera for the first time:

“The Gambler” opens nationwide on Christmas Day. Watch a trailer below: