As a journalist, it’s your job to ask the tough questions; to probe your subject on potentially uncomfortable topics. Obviously, there’s no manual or How-To Guide on this; you just dive in head-first and hope your inquiry will come up with something substantial.
In the latest issue of GQ, writer Chris Heath has the unenviable task of attempting to discuss the passing of Heath Ledger with actress Michelle Williams.
“It was horrible … You just want to be able to walk out of your house and turn your face to the sun and stumble down a corner where you have some memory, and you’re not really allowed any of that … I felt like I was going crazy. It was too much — trying to deal with what had happened and trying to deal with what was at our doorstep. I just felt trapped. And it’s not just me — there’s somebody else who I’m trying to protect, and I can’t. I can’t make it stop, I can’t make it go away. Trying to find ways to explain it or shield [Matilda] from it. It’s like you’re trying to go about your life, and make dinner … but the roof is off of your house, and the walls are falling down.”
Williams, who just won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe in “My Week With Marilyn,” is the mother of Ledger’s child, Matilda. The two met on the set of “Brokeback Mountain” and Matilda was born the following year. In 2008, Ledger was found dead from a drug overdose. Did Williams think she’d ever end up with Ledger permanently?
“That would make me way too sad to answer.’ However, she soon returns with, ‘No … I said it would make me too sad to answer but it’s also…’ — and she nods even as her voice breaks once more with tears — ‘…one of my favorite things to imagine … It’s actually one of my favorite places to visit.”
Williams admits that she even contemplated giving up acting, an idea that was nixed when director Derek Cianfrance came to her with “Blue Valentine,” a movie she had agreed to do years earlier, whenever Cianfrance found the financing. She also discusses her time growing up in Montana, her “Dawson’s Creek” days, as well as her role as Glinda in the upcoming Wizard of Oz adaptation, “Oz, the Great and Powerful,” If you’re a fan of Williams, the entire feature is definitely worth the read.
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