Michelle Williams: ‘There’s my work and the kid. Everything else has to fall away’

AnotherMag has a video interview with Michelle Williams, [via E! Online] and I was surprised at how “normal” she sounds. The last time I remember hearing her, she was using that affected baby voice, probably a holdover from her My Week With Marilyn prep, and I’m glad she’s rid of it. (She didn’t sound like that during her Oscar red carpet interviews this year, but it was so distinct that I still associate it with her.) In the interview, she answers some questions that are given offscreen and she comes across very well. You still get the sense that she’s a vulnerable person, but she seems comfortable and sure of herself, and like she’s giving honest answers. She talks about her insecurities about acting, about preparing for different roles and about getting into character and not being able to stay in character because she’s a mom. It doesn’t sound like she misses it, but that it’s just a fact of life for her.

On staying in character
I think in some ways you can’t help but stay in character. It’s a shift, it’s slight, it might even be imperceptible to other people, but you feel different all day. But I think when you have a kid, you have a duty to shed that when you come back into your home life, or at least try to.

On balancing work and motherhood
I guess realizing that there is no such thing as a perfect balance. It’s not like riding a bicycle, you don’t want to just figure it out and stay on track.

I find that when I’m working, there are only two things: there’s my work and the kid. Everything else has to fall away.

On which mementos she keeps from sets
From Blue Valentine I kept my wedding ring. I actually kept it on for a while. After the shooting had stopped, I was still wearing it – I couldn’t quite take it off – and now I keep it above the kitchen sink where I do dishes, as a little memento.

On being insecure as an actress
Every day feels like the first day, and everyday you think ‘They’re going to fire me, I don’t know what I’m doing, I don’t know how to do this, I don’t know why I’m here, Everybody’s going to find out.’ But the comforting thing is everybody feels like that, every actor that you talk to says ‘I have no idea what’s going on…’ the feeling is a very common one… if it felt safe it wouldn’t feel exciting.

On feeling at home
I think I do feel at home on a set now. Certain sets. Most sets. There’s a few places, a few settings that I feel at home in. I feel at home in my home. I feel at home in nature. I don’t know… in some ways I feel like maybe that feeling is something I’m still looking for.

[From AnotherMag via E! Online]

I’m wondering if this interview was conducted before or after her split with Jason Segel and if that kind of prompted her to give that quote about “everything else falling away,” as if her relationship faltered because she didn’t have room for it. Even if it was before her official split with Jason they were probably on the outs at the time.

This was promotion for her role as Glinda in Oz The Great and Powerful, which is out this weekend. You know, I could have sworn that the movie already came out and that it was a dud at the box office, but I just checked Box Office Mojo and was surprised to not find any numbers. I was confusing it with Jack The Giant Slayer, which looked better than this mess (I didn’t see Jack), and topped the box office with a weak $27.2 million over the weekend. So things may not fare much better for Oz. I mean James Franco is the lead, can you see it doing very well?

After I wrote this story, Kaiser pointed me to the covers for the Magazine. The Daily Mail explains that AnotherMag is a biannual British fashion magazine, and I get that they were going for very different styling looks here, but it’s all kind of overplayed and bad. The feather-in-braids look is potentially offensive to Native Americans. Did Michelle see that coming at all and did she push back against that kind of styling? I mean that’s on the magazine for doing that, but I wonder if she even realized it was happening and/or if she just felt like she had to go with it. The header image (above) makes her look like Scarlett Johansson. It’s kind of funny that they put her in 1950s widow styling at one point. That seems fitting.

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53 Responses to “Michelle Williams: ‘There’s my work and the kid. Everything else has to fall away’”

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  1. Tessa says:

    Wait, that’s not ScarJo on the cover? Mind blown.

  2. Gigi says:


    • Rin says:

      At least it’s not those one hand over the eye photos that everyone has done at least 10 times. Okay, we get it, you can cover up your eye. Oooooh, illuminati, blah blah.

      How about doing makeup on both eyes and let us see them?

  3. Kaye says:

    She looks like Carey Mulligan in the pic with the veil over her eyes.

  4. elkiddo says:

    Eh, i like the ‘Red Indian’ styling. So unlike herself. She seems almost interesting .

    • RocketMerry says:

      That’s what I thought, at least she’s doing something different and trying to get away from the “poor and pure hurt baby” persona that she was trapped with for a while.
      I think that’s nice.

      As for the offensiveness… I don’t know. I never seem to quite understand US standards for offensive/non-offensive, so I’ll just be neutral on that.

      • EmmaStoneWannabe says:

        I think this PC stuff is a little out of hand these days, like everyone is just looking to get offended. If she were styled in a kimono and had a mandarin bun, would people get all up in arms? I mean, it’s just a costume. No need to try and stir the sh*t lol.

    • Amanda says:

      I like it as well, but I agree that could be offensive. She should dye her hair black and be a little darker rather than the usual innocent and virginal blonde, it’s boring.

    • a321 says:

      it is so overly PC to think the braid & feather styling is or could be offensive…Is the asian flower print & silk dress also offensive? Fashion is always taking inspiration from other/old sources. I think it was vanity fair or the new yorker who ran a piece a couple of years ago documenting the myriad ways in which fashion reuses ideas. Are the Aztec themed prints which were popular within the last few years (and the 90’s lol) offensive to that extinct culture?

      • EmmaStoneWannabe says:

        Yes, thank you. I essentially just said the same thing above (without reading further down first lol)

      • lee says:

        I don’t know, I disagree. I think there’s a difference between using a pattern that borrows from certain general cultures and completely dressing up in something akin to ‘red face’ (god, I feel weird even typing that).

        Maybe it’s because I grew up in a city with a huge Aboriginal population that I’m more sensitive to the way they are still treated in North America, but a lot of the clothing and styling from that culture is extremely tied to spiritual and cultural attitudes/beliefs. I think that’s inherently different than a cherry blossom motif. There’s definitely something wrong with ignoring or what-washing the actual people and their culture and then fetishizing their traditional styling for fashion IMO.

  5. brin says:

    “There’s my work and the kid”…she went from baby voice to gin swilling gravel voice!

  6. Talie says:

    She looks like Effie in that first shot.

  7. Liv says:

    Why is it a problem when her styling is supposed to remind you of native americans?

  8. bea says:

    She is more compelling with dark hair, imo….pale blondes have a way of just blending together. I do hate the first image – she’s too cute to pull that off.

  9. notforleo says:

    Uhmmm…”potentially offensive to Native Americans.” Ya think?

  10. GiGi says:

    Ok, so, I’m Indian (First Nations, Anishinabe, Native American, American Indian, whatever) and I’m obviously no spokesperson for the entirety, lol – but I don’t see a problem here.

    She’s not parodying, her look is not cartoonish or offensive, it’s not like she’s wearing a Pocahontas costume, you know?

    I think the styling is cute – she looks like my mom back in the 70’s – a little hippie, a little earthy. No big deal.

    • Bobbiesue says:

      Thank you for your commentary. It’s nice to have a good perspective as we navigate the PC road.

  11. Cathy says:

    I’ve never seen any of her movies, but she seems likeable. Those magazine pictures are wierd though.

  12. bns says:

    Love her.

  13. Simple Red says:

    Nothing offensive about the outfit..
    I’ll go check the movie out

  14. Pixie says:

    I don’t think what she’s wearing is offensive…we need to take a step back from the politically correct culture sometimes and just let it go!

  15. Ms Kay says:

    I think it’s a bit reaching the point of suggesting it might be potentially offensive to Native American thus people might now think “oh yeah!”… It’s like saying if she was wearing a tribal dress, it’d be offensive to African-American/Amazonian/South American people etc. Plenty of people out there wear lots of African jewellery and such, nothing offensive.

    I personally like that photoshoot, she looks younger than her age, amazing.

  16. stellalovejoydiver says:

    She is a really talented actress, but I have a disproportionate dislike for her, mainly because of her innocent Swifty shtick when she is in her 30s, she makes me want to shake her and yell “you are a grown ass woman, behave like one”.

    Concerning Segel and her, I think he was just too nice and safe, she thought he was the right one because of her daughter, but I think she is more into those dark and brooding indie actors, why did her and Gosling never happen?

    • CF98 says:

      I’m the same but as for her and Gosling well Ryan is into the whole marriage then kids thing and Michelle I guess wasn’t or so I hear.

  17. DeltaJuliet says:

    I love the shot with the sweatshirt, jeans and fancy chapeau. Not sure what it is about it but I love it.

  18. RobN says:

    I pretty much automatically hate anybody who uses the term “my work”. It’s so affected.

  19. Stella says:

    Hmmm …well, I’m full blooded American Indian (or Native American to the overly sensitive urban skins), and I’m not offended by the styling. I think she’s cute.

  20. alice / jane says:

    The header image made me immediately think of Heath Ledger’s Joker. Is it just me?

  21. EmmaStoneWannabe says:

    “But I think when you have a kid, you have a duty to shed that when you come back into your home life, or at least try to.”

    I thought this was interesting, given that she has said in interviews that she read Matilda bedtime stories in her Marilyn voice. Nothing wrong w that IMHO, just dont say you completely shed your character as soon as you get back to interacting with your child.

  22. KellyinSeattle says:

    Who refers to their kid as “the kid”…seems weird to me. I call mine by name or say son, personally….I can’t imagine calling him “the kid”…kind of like “the dog”…

  23. Runs with Scissors says:

    To those of you who roll your eyes at those silly Native Americans who are bothered, I will re-post what D did above:


    If you actually bother to read it, it may make you think twice (or at least not be SOOO incredibly narcissistic and dismissive in your responses).

    • Alarmjaguar says:

      Thanks, RWS, a great response! It isn’t just PC, there is power in images and words…everyone should read it before they comment

    • Leen says:

      Sorry runs with scissors, I can’t get behind it because the person who wrote is as guilty of expropriating cultures. They went on and on about their hipster cred, saying they owned a couple of ‘fringed scarves’ which are keffiyehs. Keffiyehs are a traditional Arabic scarves and part of the Palestinian heritage, each pattern and color indicates which tribe/area you are from or express solidarity w/ Palestinians. It’s funny that the blogger expropriated MY culture and lord forbid anyone does to hers. Sorry but I am no fan of hypocrites.

      • Runs with Scissors says:

        sorry, but ‘fringed scarf’ is hardly specific enough to mean “keffiyehs.” Feathered headdress, for example, is pretty specific.

        Also, saying “he’s doing the same thing, therefore he can’t be right,” is not a logical argument against the issue.

      • Leen says:

        The hipster fringed scarf is more than likely thAt, google it and you will see it is either the keffiyeh or Eastern European patterns (can also be a bit problematic). If you scroll down the post, the blog got a LOT of flake for it because of that (it is known hipsters love wearing the keffiyeh in different shape and patterns). For the record, you can make the same argument for a feather headdress. Remember, brazilians and native carribeans also wear feather headdresses for celebrations and has nothing to do with native Americans.

        Not necessarily, but the person doesn’t make a strong case if they are expropriating other cultures. For the record, I understand the arguments behind it especially with the history of. Colonialism and oppression, but that blog rubbed me the wrong way (and yes it annoys me when hipster wear those things they have no clue about. I feel differently when they actually know what the scarf/other items of clothing stand for).

        I also don’t like it when hipsters parade in Native American clothing solely because I think justice hasn’t been done to the Native Americans.

  24. Jane says:

    yeah, let’s dress up as an American Indian. That’s always a good idea.

  25. silver says:

    I thought that was Carey Mulligan when I first saw the thumbnail of the veil photo.

    I’m interested to know what the Native American community thinks of that “Indian” photo…

  26. muppet_barbershop says:

    The feather thing is tricky. Eagle feathers being worn by non-Native folks is genuinely offensive in much of North America.But that’s a pheasant feather or the like… It looks like a complex hippie-grungey character, I kind of like it.

  27. Trayc08166 says:

    OMG, get over it! I think she is adorable in this photo! What part of this picture is she showing disrespect towards American Indians!?
    Look into her background, maybe she has American Indian in her bloodline somewhere! Or maybe like my blonde haired, blue eyed 9 year old niece that loves indians so much that she claims to have some indian blood in her from her very tanned late grand father; Michelle may ADMIRE AMERICAN INDIANS! When you were a kid in the 70’s, did you ever play with the little plastic COWBOYS and INDIANS?