Preston Webb is ready to step up his crime game.
Mykelti Williamson opens up on what viewers can expect when his Law & Order: Organized Crime villain meets up with Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni).
He also shared what might happen if Webb discovers one of his trusted inner circles has been working against him all along.
Webb and his close connections
While introduced in the Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 2 premiere, it’s only in the last few episodes that Preston Webb has stepped to the forefront of the series.
The leader of the Marcy Killers Organization, Webb plays at being a local businessman helping his community. He’s really a ruthless drug dealer who runs his gang like a corporation, complete with a “board.”
Webb is aided by Congressman Leon Kilbride (Ron Cephas Jones) and ties to the Brotherhood, a pack of corrupt cops led by Frank Donnelly (Denis Leary).
Speaking to TV Insider, Williamson shared how much fun he’s having playing this ruthless gangster.
“It’s a lot of fun. It’s actually scary for me to do some of the awful things that this character has to do, but I’m hoping that it’s a learning opportunity for people that folks see someone that has a good person down on the inside, but they’re involved in all this dark underworld behavior, and how do you get out of that? How do you get past that? How did you get yourself in this mess? And when I play a villain, I want people to see the villain with the thought in mind that I would never want to be in this guy’s position, I don’t glorify it, and they just need to see that Webb is conflicted. They’ll start seeing more of that going forward, but I’m having a good time doing it.”
Webb is aided by his wife Cassandra (Jennifer Beals), an art gallery owner who’s his full partner in crime.
Williamson details that Cassandra shares Webb’s dream of getting out of the crime life and into a legitimate operation.
“I think the closest thing to this relationship I’ve seen in cinema has been Bonnie and Clyde, where it’s an us against the world kind of a dynamic. And these two characters, Preston and Cassandra, are in alignment because they’re just footsteps away, inches away, if you will, from building the next Amazon, Walmart, and so on and legitimizing all their efforts and they’re also building schools, healthcare clinics, churches, and they want to do much, much, much more of that as they go forward and legitimize themselves. But right now they’ve got just a few more steps to take to get out of this life of crime and make that transition. And so the ticking clock is, will they be able to do so, or will they get busted and brought down before they can legitimize and start doing even more good work?”
Willliamson does warn that “the thing about the Preston and Cassandra dynamic is if you hurt Cassandra for any reason, Preston is coming for you. It’s not so much that she’s a crime boss type figure, but she’s a very intelligent woman who is the love of a mobster’s life, a man who’s got resources, wealth…But Cassandra knows what kind of man she married and she’s in for the ride. She’s locked in for the ride.”
While Preston and his wife are tight, it might be another woman in his life that causes major headaches.
Preston and Nova’s possible betrayal
One of Webb’s top aides is Carmen “Nova” Riley (Nona Parker Johnson), who’s risen up the ranks to become a “Vice-President” and gives orders on Webb’s behalf. He trusts her completely and even donated money to the church that was run by her preacher brother.
Naturally, Webb has no idea Nova is an undercover cop who believes Webb killed her policeman father. This dynamic throws a wrinkle into things as the pair continue their work.
“Preston sincerely, genuinely loves Nova. He knows her name is Carmen. He has no idea she’s undercover. That would be heartbreaking, to let someone get that close to you, confide in someone like that, teach them the ropes, teach them the ways and take them on your family’s journey to carve out a place for them to remain on your family’s journey with you for the rest of their lives and yours, and to find out you’ve been betrayed. Betrayal is a horrible, horrible result to receive no matter who you are. And so it would really be devastating for Preston.”
The question is what will happen should Webb find out the truth. He’s proven his ruthlessness by eliminating an underling who was stealing from him and takes any betrayal quite seriously.
When asked, Williamson could only laugh “I have an idea, but I won’t tell you. [Laughs] All I can tell you is initially he would be very hurt by it, then the rest of it, I’ll just leave it up to your imagination.”
Webb briefly met Stabler when the latter was on his undercover job with the Brotherhood. Williamson teases a further meeting will actually show odd respect between the pair.
“You’ll see that Webb and Stabler actually have an admiration for one another, kind of like the dynamic in Heat between Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, and it’s an interesting dynamic…Webb begins to admire Stabler and like the way he handles things and does business. He’s still not 100 percent sure that he can trust him, but he does begin to admire him.”
Webb also promises a scene where he, Cassandra, Stabler, Bell (Danielle Mone Truitt) and Bell’s wife all meet up, and “it’ll be interesting.”
As the build to the Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 2 finale continues, Williamson promises Webb’s role will only grow and lead to some major drama to come.
Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 2 airs Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC.