For six seasons, she played the beautiful yet complicated Jen Lindley on Dawson’s Creek. Flash forward t0 2011 and this teenager is now a woman in her thirties with many award nominations, including an Oscar nod for her turn as a lonely, trapped wife in Brokeback Mountain.
Now, after playing these deeply depressing characters, she is beginning to embrace her “new life,” which can only come from growing up and understanding who she is. It doesn’t hurt that she was chosen to play iconic sexpot/actress, Marilyn Monroe in the film My Week With Marilyn. But what hides underneath this willowy, Mia Farrow-esque actress? “I think Nabokov once said that genius is finding the invisible link between things. And that’s how I choose to see life. Everything’s connected, and everything has meaning if you look for it.”
The idea of playing such an iconic figure was daunting. “As soon as I finished the script, I knew that I wanted to do it, and then I spent six months trying to talk myself out of it,” she says. “But I always knew that I never really had a choice. I’ve started to believe that you get the piece of material that you were ready for.”
She’s also intrigued by Monroe’s way of being both an adult and a little girl, a dichotomy hard to genuinely find in this world. “I’ve always thought of her as that woman-child, not an icon, which is probably why I let myself approach the role.” Read more
Nominated for “Best Actress In A Leading Role”
Film: Blue Valentine
Role: Cindy, a young wife and mother whose marriage to a man she once loved deeply is now failing.
How she got started: Michelle Williams fell in love with performing at a young age. When she was 9 years old, her family moved from Kalispell, Montana to San Diego. While attending Santa Fe Christian Schools in Solana Beach, she saw her first live theater performance and became infatuated with acting. At 14, she made her feature debut in the movie Lassie. She left school to pursue acting eventually landed a role on the WB show “Dawson’s Creek,” which launched her career to stardom.
Other notable films: Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, Prozac Nation, Brokeback Mountain (Academy Award nomination), Deception, Shutter Island
The 83rd Academy Awards airs on February 27 at 8pm. For a list of nominees, click here.