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Michelle Williams Talks Blue Valentine, Meek's Cutoff, Playing Marilyn Monroe, Female Directors

by Anne Thompson
December 3, 2010 4:42 AM
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Thompson on Hollywood

Michelle Williams has a lot going on. Not only is the actress enjoying her Indie Spirit nomination for Sundance/Cannes/Toronto fave Blue Valentine (while decrying her co-star's Ryan Gosling's omission), but she's fearlessly stepping up to playing icon Marilyn Monroe in the upcoming My Week with Marilyn. She's enjoying working with two women directors, Kelly Reichardt (Wendy and Me Lucy, Meek's Cutoff, which goes from Venice and Toronto to Sundance) and Sarah Polley (the upcoming Take This Waltz). UPDATE: Blue Valentine's NC-17 rating has been overturned and the American Cinematheque is honoring Williams with a tribute on December 11 at Los Angeles's Aero Theater, to include clips of her films, a discussion with moderator Timothy Blake and a screening of Blue Valentine.

Clearly, this young actress is picking well, from Tom McCarthy's 2003 The Station Agent and Ang Lee's 2005 Brokeback Mountain opposite the ill-fated Heath Ledger (the father of her five-year-old daughter), which earned her Spirit and Oscar noms, to this year's role as Leonardo DiCaprio's daffy wife in Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island. I stopped by the Four Seasons with my flip cam to see what makes this actress tick. I found out, among other things, that she cries easily, once did a play with Mike Leigh, and would love to work with him again...

Here is our Sundance interview with Blue Valentine's Ryan Gosling and director Derek Cianfrance.


  • Anthony | February 20, 2011 7:08 AMReply

    Anne, this is a brilliant, brilliant interview.

  • L. Malaine | December 10, 2010 9:44 AMReply

    Wow, even with a flip cam she's luminescent. Can't wait to see Blue Valentine! I'm also puzzled by the Spirit noms since Gosling can do no wrong.

  • Anne Thompson | December 8, 2010 9:48 AMReply

    Wendy and Lucy, Kelly Reichardt's film.

  • Dixon Steele | December 8, 2010 6:52 AMReply

    What's "Wendy and Me"?

  • Joseph Angier | December 5, 2010 10:25 AMReply

    She's as articulate as she is talented ... and she was beyond great in Blue Valentine (which I saw yesterday as part of the "fight back against the NC-17 rating" campaign ... NB: Sign the petition everyone!) One small correction: I saw her in Smelling a Rat, which was staged at one of those little theaters on 42nd St. near 10th Ave. Unless I'm misremembering, it was a production of a Leigh play, but wasn't done "with Mike Leigh"

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