When asked about his possible involvement in the sequel to Venom, one of the ten highest grossing films of 2018, Michelle Williams neither could nor wanted to hide her bewilderment. “I don’t even know what happened in the first part … So I don’t know anything about the second part”, admitted in a fit of honesty. Three years later, not only did the actress end up getting acquainted and filming Venom: There will be carnageIf not the return of the most famous antihero in comics, it has once again broken records to become the highest grossing film since the start of the pandemic. Perhaps the fact that those responsible for the saga did not take the words of the actress as a snub and relied on her to give life to the prosecutor Anne Weying, a key figure in the first installment of the saga, is the best example their status in the industry. At 41, the appearance of this rara reviews from the mecca of cinema, as discreet and reserved as it is influential and in demand, it is an endorsement of quality and prestige capable of legitimizing any project. The quietest star in Hollywood lets her talent speak for her … and she does it loudly.
It was Ryan Gosling, his partner in the film – already cult – Blue Valentine, which assured that Michelle Williams “was a cross between Clint Eastwood and Brigitte Bardot”, if such a hodgepodge is possible. What does seem certain is the generational nature of an interpreter who jumps unscathed between formats and genres: from indie the musical going from dramas dramas to action shows like the recently released new installment of Venom. Delighting critics, academics and even those who pay to enter the room, being able to overcome his status as an icon of adolescent television and one of the most tragic romances in recent cinema, the one lived with Heath Ledger.
Michelle Williams met the Oscar winner during the filming of the film that would catapult her careers to the Olympus of the film mecca, Brokeback Mountain, and they were together three years. Their romance ended in September 2007 because of the actor’s drug addiction, which would end up costing him his life a few months later. Fleeing the tabloids that sought to make her the grieving widow of the new Hollywood, Williams took refuge in the works of independent authors who embraced her classic, sleek and intense talent. Until Blue Valentine he spent months “without regaining the desire and motivation to act. But while contemporaries like Natalie Portman or Scarlett Johansson – who was taken from the role of Marilyn Monroe – drew the attention of the media, the actress with the eternal platinum blonde made up one of the most dazzling films of the seventh art without her name ringing yet. too familiar to the general public. Martin Scorsese, Charlie Kauffman, Todd Haynes and Ridley Scott are some of the filmmakers who have requested their services and, following the collecting license of Venom, it’s Steven Spielberg’s turn. On The Fabelmans, based on the director’s own childhood in Arizona, will play a transcript of the director’s mother, seeking the Oscar that resists after four nominations.
Williams has endowed her personal life with the same patina of discretion as she has on her Hollywood career, despite being in turn made Louis Vuitton’s muse by Nicolas Ghesquière and also triumphing on the Broadway stage. The actress has gone through the altar twice, in ceremonies that the media only became aware of once they were held. The first, with the musician Phil Elverum in 2018, did not exceed a year of life. In March 2020, she would marry her current husband, director Thomas Kail. Both coincided in the series Fosse / Verdon, which earned the actress an Emmy and a Golden Globe, and last year they had their first child together. The offspring is thus joined by Matilda, the first-born that Michelle Williams had with Heath Ledger. Although she has barely spoken publicly about the late actor, the actress confessed the memory she still shares with her daughter: “I always tell Matilda the same phrase, ‘Your father loved me long before anyone thought I was talented, beautiful or that I had nice clothes. ‘
Born in a small town in the state of Montana, her precociousness in the world of acting could have made her a clear candidate to swell the lists of broken toys in the mecca of cinema. At 13 he already had episodic appearances in The Baywatch and with only 15 years she left school and asked for the legal emancipation of her parents in order to focus on her acting career and avoid submitting to the labor restrictions of minors in the filming. She moved alone to an apartment in Burbank, a city that is home to several of the great film studios, and a couple of years later she landed the role that would consolidate her career: that of Jen Lindley in the popular teen series Dawson grows. A role that would put her face in the folders of young people around the world, but that would later force her to show that she was much more than one of the “sexiest women in the world under 21 years old” in those sexist lists published by the magazines of the time.
Despite her low profile and being raised in a family of strong Republican convictions – her father ran for the Senate several times without success – Williams is also one of the most visible faces of feminist activism in Hollywood. Beyond taking advantage of speeches like the one at the 2020 Golden Globes to defend the right to abortion and encourage the female vote – arousing the digital admiration of figures like Hillary Clinton or the current Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris -, the actress has been very vocal in denouncing one of the most embarrassing examples of pay discrimination in recent Hollywood.
The tabloid USA Today revealed that Michelle Williams earned a salary of less than $ 1,000 for an extra ten days of filming on the film All the money in the world while his co-star in the film, Mark Wahlberg, made close to a million and a half dollars. Williams, who admits that she was “paralyzed” after learning about the salary disparity, was invited to the US Congress in 2019 to share her experience and demand the desired equal pay. “What happened to me was not a surprise to me. It simply reinforced my vital belief that equality is not an inalienable right and that women will always have to work just as hard for less money, while taking on more responsibilities at home. And if this was the case for me, a white woman in a glamorous industry, how are my sisters suffering in their respective professions?
That same integrity that leads her to publicly bring out the colors of a film studio and a posh filmmaker (Ridley Scott), without fear of reprisals, is the same that she displays to explain why she accepts a priori little stimulating roles such as that of Venom: There will be carnage. “Superhero movies open the way to new opportunities and possibilities in life (…) I would love to have an artistic reason behind it, but I have to make decisions to take care of my family.”