Michelle Williams on Her Broadway Debut in ‘Cabaret': “I’m not good at thinking things through. I get excited about something, and that outweighs everything else

Michelle-Williams

While it’s undeniable that Broadway producers seek out big name stars to headline their productions, there always is a concern of whether or not the star can handle the rigors of performing eight times a week (something the producers of Orphans unfortunately discovered last year after they cast — and later fired — Shia LaBeouf). When it comes to a musical that concern is even greater — not only does that star need to be able to sing and dance, but be able to do it on a daily basis.

As a result, Michelle Williams certainly didn’t seem like a shoe-in when she was announced as playing Sally Bowles in the revival of Cabaret, especially since this production is a revival of Roundabout Theater Company’s 1998 Best Revival Tony Award-winning production that starred Natasha Richardson, who won a Best Actress Tony for the role. While Williams is a popular, acclaimed actress, she is a Broadway rookie who lacks musical theater experience. On top of that, she wasn’t even the first choice for the role — Emma Stone was previously locked in before dropping out. In a profile in The New York Times, Williams speaks about her nervousness regarding her Broadway debut and why she became so committed to doing something that scared her.

To add to the intimidation factor, Williams is surrounded by Cabaret veterans. The current revival is directed by Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall, who both also directed the 1998 Broadway revival, and features the return of Alan Cumming as the Emcee (which was also a Tony Award-winning performance). Because of her lack of experience and that she would be working with those so familiar with the material, Williams wasn’t surprised when she ended up having to audition to play Sally. She explains, “They didn’t call it an audition. But that’s what it was, and I’m fine with that.”

While she landed the role, Williams is still apprehensive about the results. She admits, “I’ve realized something about myself. When I said I wanted to do this, not a few people in my life said: ‘Are you sure? Aren’t you going to be terrified?’ I’m not good at thinking things through. I get excited about something, and that outweighs everything else. I don’t really carry the vision down the line to see the possibilities of how it might turn out.” However, she jokingly adds, “I think that for my work that’s actually been an O.K. trait. For life, not so good.”

Nonetheless, despite the intensity and uncertainty, Williams enjoys the way she feels when performing in a musical. She explains, “It wasn’t that I felt like I had a natural gift. What I liked is that you can’t be in your head. You can’t sing and dance and think at the same time, and so there’s a joy to it. I don’t have enough joy in my life. Who does? And whenever I can get more of it, that’s where I want to go. I want more of that feeling.”

Leave a Reply

Latest Videos

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/sag-foundation-conversation-with.jpg
SAG Foundation Conversation with the Cast of NBC’s ‘Marry Me’
Earlier this month NBC put in an order for five additional episodes of its freshman romantic comedy series, Marry Me. While that isn’t exactly the shot of confidence that a full-season renewal provides, it’s enough to keep fans of the comedy — which is about an engaged couple who are determined to get married despite […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/michael-caine.jpg
Michael Caine Talks About Acting With Your Eyes and Does an Amazing Cold Read of a Script
This week acting legend Michael Caine appears in his sixth film directed by Christopher Nolan, Interstellar. In an interview clip from The New York Times that was shot around the release of the last movie Caine worked on with Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises, reporter Melena Ryzik spoke to Caine about his six-decade career. In […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/director-dan-gilroy-narrates-a-s.jpg
Director Dan Gilroy Narrates a Scene from ‘Nightcrawler’ Featuring Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo
Nightcrawler is easily one of the best movies of the year and its star, Jake Gyllenhaal, is outstanding. Definitely check this out when you have a chance. In the above clip, writer/director Dan Gilroy narrates a sequence from the film that features Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo. He talks about giving Gyllenhaal a small piece of […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/matthew-mcconaughey-talks-losing.png
Matthew McConaughey Talks Losing the Lead Role in ‘Bernie’ to Jack Black
Though Matthew McConaughey has increased his earned plenty of respect since he started taking on more substantive movie roles in the last few years (with Dallas Buyers Club even earning him an Oscar for Best Actor), one director that always has been a fan of McConaughey is Richard Linklater. Linklater gave McConaughey his first big […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/watch-benedict-cumberbatch-film.jpg
Watch: Benedict Cumberbatch Film the Smaug Motion Capture for ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’
Though Peter Jackson‘s movie adaptations of The Hobbit haven’t received the same critical acclaim as his films based on the book’s sequel, The Lord of the Rings (turning a 300 page book into 9+ hours of film tends to do that), fans are still eagerly anticipating the release of the final part of The Hobbit […]