As a former child celebrity, Tyler James Williams is now speaking out about his “traumatic” experience.

The 30-year-old performer reflected on his time spent working on the critically acclaimed comedy series Everybody Hates Chris, which was based on Chris Rock’s adolescence.

He claimed in an interview with GQ that one of the sitcom’s producers once told him, “I’ll never see you as anything else and you’ll probably never work again.” The sitcom aired from 2005 to 2009.

“Holy s—, you really just looked at me and said that,” Williams continued. Williams admits that the remark might have been intended as a jest, but he still took it seriously.

The Abbott Elementary star added that he realized “pretty f—ing quickly” that young actors can be perpetually cast in teen-oriented roles. After appearing in Everybody Hates Chris, Williams was able to alter the direction of his career. End of Chris.

He said, “At 17, I recognized I didn’t like the road I was on. So I made the choice to pause and turn. I worked with a really excellent acting coach, and I declined every opportunity that came my way.

When he was cast as the lead in the 2014 film Dear White People and appeared in episodes of The Walking Dead and Criminal Minds, his professional hiatus came to an end. He later won a 2023 Golden Globe for his Gregory Eddie-related work on Abbott Elementary.

Williams stated that in his day, Everyone Hates He learned a valuable lesson from Chris: “I learned how to carry a performance in just two or three months. The knowledge is the most helpful I’ve ever received in my life.

A “reimagined animated version” of the sitcom was unveiled by MTV Entertainment Studios in August. Rock, 58, will show Rock telling tales that are based on his experiences as a working-class kid growing up in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, in the late 1980s.

Chris McCarthy, President/CEO of Paramount Media Networks & MTV Entertainment Studios, said in a press release at the time that Chris Rock is “one of the most gifted comedians of all time” and that they were “excited to partner with him, 3 Arts and CBS Studios to bring this to life and welcome it as the next big hit.”


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