Mykelti Williamson is enjoying being the bad guy on Law & Order: Organized Crime.
The actor who plays gangster Preston Webb on the hit NBC series discussed what makes his crime boss tick and what to expect from him as Season 2 heads to its conclusion.
Preston Webb plays a dangerous game
Introduced in the Season 2 premiere of Law & Order: Organized Crime, Preston Webb runs the Marcy Killers, a deadly gang that’s organized like a corporation, down to “vice-presidents” who manage things.
Webb plays on the persona of a businessman who helps the community while running a score of criminal activities. He’s aided by his long-time friend, Congressman Leon Kilbride (Ron Cephas Jones) who’s just as corrupt.
With a power vacuum in the New York underworld, Webb is stepping up his actions for control. But, speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Williamson stated that Webb’s real goal is to truly change his world and not be a criminal all his life.
“Preston is temporarily willing to do whatever it takes to build this empire so that he can start affecting the world in a great way. But right now, he’s doing the gangster approach. They’re trying to find balance. They want to get out of this world at some point.”
Webb and Kilbride are currently running scams like “building” a library that’s meant to bilk the city out of millions in construction fees. While they appear on the same side, Williamson hints there may be a clash coming.
“These guys grew up together and now, they’re both extremely powerful men who need one another. You’ll see a chess match between Ron Cephas’ character and my character. And then you’ll see what a puppeteer my character really is.”
Webb is also dealing with the Brotherhood, a pack of corrupt cops led by Frank Donnelly (Denis Leary). Stabler (Christopher Meloni) is going undercover in the Brotherhood and has already witnessed a confrontation between Webb and Donnelly.
“He plays another dangerous man with a different kind of power,” Williamson says of Leary. “These two men both have a different kind of power, but power that will get you killed nonetheless.”
That clash may build up as the story arc progresses.
The women in Webb’s life will cause trouble
Webb is aided by his wife, Cassandra (Jennifer Beals), who appears to be a simple art gallery owner. Not only is she fully aware of her husband’s life, but it’s hinted she’s as ruthless as he is.
“There’s one thing Preston knows about his wife, is that she is beautiful as she is dangerous. They understand empire building and in the very same way. This is one of the most dangerous women Preston Webb has ever met in his life, and he loves her. And he’s the most dangerous thing she has ever seen.”
Another important woman is Nova (Nona Parker Johnson), who Webb has just appointed as his second-in-command. He’s unaware she’s actually undercover cop Carmen Riley.
Obviously, Nova’s life will be in danger should Webb discover the truth about her. For now, Williamson merely hints that there’s more coming this season that will push Webb to the edge.
“This is a man who has boundaries and the audience will discover what his boundaries are. What is that switch? You’ll get to see what this man’s switch is in the coming weeks. What Preston Webb is is he’s everything that it’s necessary to be to bring all the good to the world he can possibly bring, even if he has to do so violently or with violence.”
While he tries to claim he’s merely a ‘businessman,” Webb’s brutal actions promise to enhance the drama as Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 2 continues.
Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 2 airs Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC.