Michelle Ingrid Williams born September 9, is an American actress. She is particularly known for her roles in small-scale independent productions with dark or tragic themes. Born to the politician and trader Larry R.
Williams , she was raised in Kalispell and San Diego. She began her career at a young age with television guest appearances and made her film debut in the family film Lassie At 15, she gained emancipation from her parents, and soon achieved recognition for her leading role in the television teen drama series Dawson's Creek — This was followed by low-profile films, before her breakthrough role in the romantic drama Brokeback Mountain , in which her performance as the wife of a gay man earned Williams her first Academy Award nomination.
Williams went on to gain critical acclaim for playing emotionally troubled women coping with loss or loneliness in the independent dramas Wendy and Lucy , Blue Valentine , and Manchester by the Sea Her highest-grossing releases came with the thriller Shutter Island , the fantasy film Oz the Great and Powerful , the musical The Greatest Showman , and the superhero film Venom On Broadway , she starred in revivals of the musical Cabaret in and the drama Blackbird in , for which she received a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play.
Williams is an advocate for equal pay. She is reticent about her personal life; she has a daughter from her relationship with the late actor Heath Ledger , and was briefly married to the musician Phil Elverum. Williams , an author and commodities trader. Williams became interested in acting at an early age when she saw a local production of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Her first screen appearance was as Bridget Bowers, a young woman who seduces Mitch Buchannon 's son, Hobie, in a episode of the television series Baywatch.
Williams played the love interest of Guiry's character, which led Steven Gaydos of Variety to take note of her "winning perf". To focus on her acting pursuits, she left the school and enrolled for in-home tutoring. Following her emancipation, Williams relocated to Los Angeles and lived by herself in Burbank. The series aired for six seasons from January to May and featured Williams as Jen Lindley, a precocious and promiscuous New York-based teenager who relocates to the fictional town of Capeside.
The series was filmed in the small town of Wilmington, North Carolina , where Williams relocated for the next six years. The seventh installment in the Halloween film series , it featured Williams as one of several teenagers traumatized by a murderer.
Williams has credited Dawson's Creek as "the best acting class", but also admitted that she had not fully invested herself in it as "my taste was in contradiction to what I was doing every single day". Keen to play challenging roles in adult-oriented projects, Williams spent the summer of starring in an Off-Broadway play named Killer Joe.
The production featured gruesome violence and required Williams to perform a nude scene. They were just defined at an early age by the fact that others saw them that way. Williams played Holly, an insecure bibliophile, a part that came close to her personality.
Dawson's Creek completed its run in , and Williams was satisfied with how it had run its course. She relocated to New York City soon after. In the former, starring Ryan Gosling , she played the grieving sister of a murdered boy; it was described by The Globe and Mail ' s Liam Lacey as "neither an insightful nor well-made film".
The film received negative reviews; Wesley Morris of The Boston Globe wrote, "Only when Williams is around does the movie seem human, true, and funny. Even in her slapstick, there's pain. Williams gained wider recognition later in when she appeared in Ang Lee 's Brokeback Mountain , about the romance between two men, Ennis and Jack played by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal , respectively. He found a vulnerability in her and cast her as Alma, the wife of Ennis, who discovers her husband's homosexuality and infidelity.
Williams had two film releases in Leslie Felperin of Variety found her role to be too brief. After six months of indecision, she agreed to a small part in Todd Haynes ' I'm Not There , a musical inspired by the life of Bob Dylan. In his review for The Independent , Robert Hanks called it "sloppy", and said that Williams deserved better.
Williams' two other releases of were better received. The screenwriter Charlie Kaufman was impressed with her comic timing in Dick and thus cast her in his directorial debut Synecdoche, New York , an ensemble experimental drama headlined by Philip Seymour Hoffman.
While filming in Sweden for her next project, Mammoth , news broke that Ledger had died from an accidental intoxication from prescription drugs. I don't remember most of it. Her role was that of an established surgeon, a part she deemed herself too young to logically play. Based on Dennis Lehane 's novel , it featured her as a depressed housewife who drowns her own children. The high-profile production marked a departure for her, and she found it difficult to adjust to the slower pace of filming.
She took a year off work to focus on her daughter. Williams first read the script of Derek Cianfrance 's romantic drama Blue Valentine at age When funding came through after years of delay, she was reluctant to accept the offer as filming in California would take her away from her daughter for too long. Before production began, Cianfrance had Williams and Gosling live together for a month on a stipend that matched their character's income.
This exercise led to conflicts between them, which proved conducive for filming their character's deteriorating marriage. Scott found Williams to be "heartbreakingly precise in every scene" and praised the couple for being "exemplars of New Method sincerity, able to be fully and achingly present every moment on screen together".
In her final film release of , Williams reunited with Reichardt for the western Meek's Cutoff. Set in , it is based on an ill-fated historical incident on the Oregon Trail , in which the frontier guide Stephen Meek led a wagon train through a desert. Williams starred as one of the passengers on the wagon, a feisty young mother, who is suspicious of Meek. In preparation, she took lessons on firing a gun and learned to knit. In , Williams played the actress Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn , a drama depicting the troubled production of the comedy The Prince and the Showgirl , based on accounts by Colin Clark , who worked on the latter film.
Initially skeptical to play Monroe, as she had little in common with her looks or personality, Williams spent six months researching her by reading biographies, diaries and notes, and studying her posture, gait, and mannerisms.
Though the actress considered it to be a light-hearted film, Jenny McCartney of The Daily Telegraph found a darker undertone to it and favorably compared its theme to that of Blue Valentine. Based on the Oz children's books , it served as a prequel to the classic film The Wizard of Oz. Williams' desire to star in a musical led her to the role of Sally Bowles in a revival of Cabaret , which was staged at Studio 54 and marked her Broadway debut. Before production began, she spent four months privately rehearsing with music and dance coaches.
She read the works of Christopher Isherwood , whose novel Goodbye to Berlin inspired the musical, and visited Berlin to research Isherwood's life and inspirations. Challenged by her work in Cabaret , Williams was eager to continue working on the stage. Set entirely in the lunchroom of an office, it focuses on a young woman, Una Williams , who confronts a much-older man played by Jeff Daniels for having sexual relations with her when she was 12 years old.
Williams, who had not seen previous stagings of the play, was drawn to the ambiguity of her character and found herself unable to distance herself from it after each performance. Williams returned to film in with supporting roles in two small-scale dramas— Certain Women and Manchester by the Sea. As with their previous collaborations, the film featured minimal dialogue and required Williams to act through silences. Williams agreed to the project to work with Lonergan, whose work she admired, and in preparation, she visited Manchester to interview local mothers about their lives.
Inspired by P. She considered it a major opportunity, as she had not headlined a big-budget film before. Paul Getty , was accused of sexual misconduct. In , Williams married the musician Phil Elverum in a secret ceremony in the Adirondack Mountains. The comic role, which required her to speak in a high-pitched voice, led Peter Debruge of Variety to consider it to be "the funniest performance of her career".
Williams returned to the Sundance Film Festival in with After the Wedding , a remake of Susanne Bier 's Danish film of the same name , in which Williams and Julianne Moore played roles portrayed by men in the original. Elverum and Williams filed for divorce in Describing Williams' off-screen persona, Debbie McQuoid of Stylist wrote in that she is "predictably petite but her poise and posture make her seem larger than life". Following the death of Ledger, Williams became the subject of intense media scrutiny and was frequently stalked by paparazzi.
Williams prefers to work in small-scale independent films over big-budget productions, finding them to be "a very natural expression of [her] interest". Acting sometimes reminds me of therapy in that the more you talk about a traumatic or profound event, the more it loses its emotional tension. Erica Wagner of Harper's Bazaar has praised Williams for combining "startlingly emotional performance with a sense of groundedness" and the critic David Thomson opines that she "can play anyone, without undue glamour or starriness".
Williams has featured as the brand ambassador for the fashion label Band of Outsiders and the luxury brand Louis Vuitton. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the member of Destiny's Child, see Michelle Williams singer. For others named Michelle Williams, see Michelle Williams disambiguation. American actress. Williams at the Tribeca Film Festival. Kalispell, Montana , U. Phil Elverum m. Larry R. Williams father. Main articles: Michelle Williams on screen and stage and awards and nominations.
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