Michelle Williams talks 'joyous' third pregnancy, Jeremy Strong friendship after Heath Ledger's death
Michelle Williams' next blockbuster may be in the delivery room instead of on the silver screen, with the actress revealing she's pregnant with her third child.
Williams dropped the baby news in an interview with Variety published Tuesday. This will be Williams' second child with director Thomas Kail. The couple shares 1-year-old son Hart, and Williams has an older daughter Matilda, 16, from her relationship with the late actor Heath Ledger.
"It’s totally joyous," Williams told the outlet. "As the years go on, you sort of wonder what they might hold for you or not hold for you. It’s exciting to discover that something you want again and again is available one more time. That good fortune is not lost on me or my family."
Williams spoke about what it's been like raising Hart in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it has offered her a new outlook on life.
"It was a reminder that life goes on," Williams said. "The world we brought a baby into is not the world we thought we were bringing a baby into, but the baby is ignorant of that. He experiences the unmitigated joy of discovery and the happiness of a loving home."
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And while the Oscar-nominated actress has two films set for release this year — the dramedy "Showing Up" and the Steven Spielberg-directed "The Fabelmans" — she said she's taking a hiatus leading up to her expected fall delivery.
"I got nothing," said Williams of her immediate work plans. "I wondered if I could work while I was pregnant, but I’m too tired."
Williams' plate has been full the last few years, juggling acting and activism. The actress became an advocate for pay equity in 2018 after learning her "All the Money in the World" co-star Mark Wahlberg made $1.5 million to reshoot scenes in the Ridley Scott crime drama, while Williams was paid an $80 per diem totaling less than $1,000 — less than one-tenth of 1% of Wahlberg's paycheck.
"I grew up a lot in that moment because doing anything in public is very difficult for me," Williams recalled. “But I felt like I was getting a clear message that I needed to stand up and deliver. I needed to ask myself, can I be a big enough, strong enough and mature enough person to see the opportunity in front of me and take it?”
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Williams sought an immersive education on the issue in order "to learn more about the problems of pay inequity." She reached out to activist Mónica Ramírez, who serves as co-founder of the National Farmworker Women’s Alliance and head of the National Latina Equal Pay Day campaign, and joined Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on Capitol Hill to support the Paycheck Fairness Act.
"I saw that it’s not just about a strict dollar amount," Williams said. "It’s about self-worth. It’s about establishing a market value for something. And it’s up to all of us to say this is the right amount, the fair amount."
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Williams also opened up about her relationship with actor Jeremy Strong, whose "committed" approach to acting was the subject of a profile in The New Yorker in December. The "blowback" Strong received in the wake of the story's publication was difficult for Williams, who met Strong at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2004.
"We’ve all been in awe of his talent," Williams said. "We’ve watched him work harder than anyone and wait a long time for other people to recognize it. So when he became so celebrated, we all celebrated."
She also shared that the "Succession" star moved into her home after Ledger died in 2008 to help support her and her daughter.
"Jeremy was serious enough to hold the weight of a child’s broken heart and sensitive enough to understand how to approach her through play and games and silliness," said Williams of Strong's relationship with her daughter. "(Matilda) didn’t grow up with her father, but she grew up with her Jeremy and we were changed by his ability to play as though his life depended upon it because hers did."
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Contributing: Naledi Ushe, Hannah Yasharoff