Tyler James Williams is opening up about a statement a former producer said that has stuck with him over the years.
In a new interview with GQ, the Abbott Elementary star looked back on his time starring on the award-winning sitcom Everybody Hates Chris. The series was a huge success during its run from 2005 to 2009 — so much so that one of the show’s producers didn’t think Williams had a bright future as a actor.
Williams recalls the producer telling him, “I’ll never see you as anything else and you’ll probably never work again.”
Although Williams believes the producer was joking when he made that statement, the actor still took it heart.
“I was like, ‘Holy s**t, you really just looked at me and said that,’” he told GQ.
Williams went on to add that he understood “pretty f*****g quickly” that young celebrities can get pigeonholed into perpetually playing teen roles.
Williams was determined to make a change to his acting career after ‘Everybody Hates Chris.’
“I realized at 17 that I didn’t like the road I was on,” he explained. “So I decided to stop and pivot. I got with a really good acting coach and I turned down every single thing I was offered.”
After taking some time to work on his craft, Williams returned to Hollywood and took on a starring role in the 2014 film Dear White People.
Over the years, he’s appeared in numerous television shows. In 2021, Williams began playing the role of Gregory Eddie on ABC’s Abbott Elementary which earned him Golden Globe win in 2023.
Williams says ‘Everybody Hates Chris’ taught him an important lesson.
“I learned how to carry a show in a matter of two or three months. It’s the most useful information I’ve ever gotten in my life,” he shared.