Letitia Wright Says ‘Amazing’ Michael K. Williams Was ‘Beautiful to Work With’ on His Final Film (Exclusive)

Working alongside Michael K. Williams on Surrounded, his last film before his death, was nothing short of an honor for Letitia Wright.

She and the late Williams, who passed away in September 2021 at age 54, share a particularly tense scene in the motion picture. As she informs PEOPLE, she was over the moon to work with such a respected talent.

Wright, 29, says she knew the “incredible artist” from many projects– The Wire, obviously, but also HBO’s The Night Of with Riz Ahmed– and that Williams’ name turned up when the filmmakers were on a Zoom call together attempting to figure out who would fit the strange character opposite the 2 leads, Wright and Jamie Bell.

” [Director] Anthony [Mandler] was like, ‘What if we get Michael K.?’ And I texted him, I resembled, ‘If you get Michael K., this will strengthen the entire film,'” she informs PEOPLE.” ‘Me, Jamie Bell, Michael K.– it’ll be great.’ ”

According to Wright, after they contacted Williams about appearing in Surrounded, “He left whatever he was doing and he stated, ‘Look, I got you. I got you men. I wish to be a part of this.’ ”

And the “energy” and work ethic he gave the set, even between takes, “was stunning to see.”

” He was so stunning to work with, honestly,” Wright states. “I believe he was going to the Bahamas or something after [shooting] We remained in the freezing cold in the desert. He’s like, ‘I’m going to the Bahamas.’ I was like, all right, bet.”

Asked whether the cast and crew did anything unique to honor Williams after his death, Wright says they “were all in different areas on the planet” art the time, “and all of us talked to each other online and tried to share acknowledgements with his family, with his good friends.”

” We’ve yet to do that as a team,” she includes. “But when we all see each other, it’ll be the main thing we talk about and we speak about, and I seem like we’ll get to do that.”

Wright stars in Surrounded as Moses “Mo” Washington, a character who was inspired by Buffalo soldier Cathay Williams.

” Five years after the Civil War, freedwoman and former Buffalo Soldier Moses ‘Mo’ Washington travels west to lay claim on a gold mine– the summation of years of labor for Mo and her neighborhood,” checks out an official run-through of the movie. “It is a mean, dangerous world for an unaccompanied Black woman in 1870 America, and so Mo travels into the deep frontier camouflaged as a male.”

” After her stagecoach is ambushed by a group of homicidal thieves, Mo is required to hold famous criminal Tommy Walsh (Bell, 37) hostage while the remaining enduring travelers seek out help,” it continues. “What occurs is a fight of wills, blurring the line in between captor and captive, as they both try to make it through the extreme western landscape.”

“Her journey just truly influenced me, and I desired to be a part of it and to be the one to tell it.”

Letitia Wright on Handling Controversy: ‘Have to Keep Going Strong with What You Believe In’

Asked her biggest takeaway from Surrounded in regards to a message, the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever star states, “When you have just a belief for your future to be various and simply to never give up on that.”

” Never give up on thinking that you are worthy of something gorgeous in life, something that could be your own,” she includes. “Mo was fighting for that and she did that up until the very end, so that actually stuck with me.”

Aside from Wright, Bell and Williams, the film likewise includes Jeffrey Donovan (Burn Notice) and Stranger Things star Brett Gelman, with executive producers Aaron Ginsberg, William Green, Jason Cloth, Richard McConnell and Suraj Maraboyina.

Wright acts as co-producer together with Mandler, 50, plus Aaron L. Gilbert, Jason Michael Berman, Derek Iger and Ade O’Adesina.

Surrounded will be offered On Digital all over June 20.

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