Actor Michael K. Williams struggled through a major identity crisis after his hit U.S. TV drama The Wire wrapped in 2008 because he could no longer separate himself from his character.
The 45 year old portrayed Omar Little, a gang member who robs drug dealers for a living, and he credits the role with pulling him out of a deep depression brought on by the 9/11 terrorist attacks. But, while the job gave him a new outlook on life, it led to his eventual downfall.
He tells New York Magazine, "When the character died, I didn't know how to let it go. When people screamed 'Omar' on the street, it sounded better to me than when they were screaming 'Mike'. I think what people need to realise is that I had to mourn that character just like everybody else.
"I couldn't see myself because I was so far in character: 'Who the hell am I gonna be after this?' I didn't see Mike. I didn't know who Mike was."
The actor, who now stars on popular series Boardwalk Empire, has previously confessed to being high on drugs while shooting The Wire, revealing, "It was just a matter of time before I got caught and my business ended up on the cover of a tabloid or I went to jail or, worse, I ended up dead. When I look back on it now, I don't know how I didn't end up in a body bag... I was lonely in that part of my life. I was broke, broken and beat up. Exhausted. Empty."