Jan 11, 2011

INTERVIEW: Michelle Williams

“What happened change my relationship to the entire world,” she says. “Everything is different. I’m very conscious of the fact that when I’m working, my daughter is not with one of her parents. When I was making this film in Toronto I would come home and kiss her on the head, and I would smell this whole day on her that I hadn’t been there for: chlorine, her babysitters perfume, a new shampoo. Her entire day was a mystery to me, that I would have to untangle in the morning. I’d get photographs of her and piece it together. I thought about my life at work, and how much of a mystery it is to her, but one day she going to see these movies, so my hope now is that the work makes her proud and that she sees the reason I was gone.” This story, almost heartbreaking in its poignancy, delivered to the corner of the room in a long impassioned stream, could almost have slipped from the pages of Mary Oliver, one of Williams favorite poets — or for that matter, from one of her own films, which are filled with such moments combining the elegiac and the everyday. While shooting Brokeback Mountain, Williams devoted most of her energies to her meaty dialogue scenes, only to find that it was the scenes that only showed up in he script as a single line — “she drives the car”, “she looks out the window” — that packed the biggest punch. In last year’s Wendy and Lucy, where Williams played a drifter, cut loose from her family, performing her ablutions in a gas-station washroom, she made an entire movie of such moments. “She’s like a classic silent movie actress,” says Blue Valentine’s director, Derek Cianfrance. “She has such a rich internal world, you feel like there’s a thousand storms and secrets raging inside that woman, and when you put a camera on her, they’re all there.” — from my interview with Michelle Williams in The Daily Telegraph

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