Michelle Williams

“Film is a medium where you are asking people to relate to it personally, so there’s an amount of projection that’s necessary in the audience-performer relationship. But I didn’t want it to be just that. I wanted to risk how much an audience member could love the person I was making. I wanted to risk their love and earn their respect.

-Michelle Williams, episode 325 of Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso

As we begin the new year, we’re returning to our conversation with brilliant actor Michelle Williams.

We walk through the making of Showing Up (6:05), Williams’ fifteen-year partnership with director Kelly Reichardt (8:10), and her upbringing in Montana and San Diego (10:42). Then, she describes coming of age on the set of Dawson’s Creek (14:50), her pivotal turn in Tracy Letts’ Killer Joe (20:00), and her path to Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain (26:10).

On the back-half, we discuss a healing passage from Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost (29:37), Williams’ memorable performances in Blue Valentine (32:12) and My Week with Marilyn (37:47), and her final day shooting The Fabelmans (40:50). To close, she shares how she remains present as a mother (45:40), a formative Walt Whitman quote (47:22), and how—at age 42—she’s begun to create from “a place of peace.” (50:36).

For questions, comments, or to join our mailing list, reach me at sf@talkeasypod.com.

Original illustration by Krishna ShenoiReference image by Emily Soto.

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