Actress and mom Michelle Williams has us wonder-struck as ever.
When Heath Ledger died at a tragically young age in 2008, Williams was left a single mother of their daughter, Matilda (now 11). She’s gotten Oscar nominations playing mothers on the big screen (Blue Valentine, Manchester by the Sea), but her favorite role is being Matilda’s mom.
Williams dazzled in her usual classy style at the Cannes Film Festival on Thursday, where she is promoting her new film, Todd Haynes’ Wonderstruck. She plays the single mother of Ben (Oakes Fegley), a 12-year-old missing his absent father — a role that hits close to home for her.
She spoke to the press about valuing authentic connection with children on screen and off.
“What I find most interesting about motherhood in this film and everything that I make about being a mother is being responsive to the child that you are connecting to,” Williams said. “Personally and professionally, the great [trick to] working with children and knowing children is listening to children, and responding to who they are. Not your idea of a perfect child, not who you want them to be, but who they really are.”
Sounds like Williams is winning at motherhood big time, based on her daughter’s Mother’s Day card, which made our hearts melt like chocolate Kisses on a hot dashboard. (Yes, that much.)
“For Mother’s Day, my daughter gave me a card that said, ‘Mom, thanks for letting me be me,’ and it was a picture with somebody in high heels on a skateboard,” Williams said. “That’s my ultimate [goal]; that’s what I want them to do.”
Williams isn’t surprised that she keeps being cast as mothers. And we’re not either.
“I think when you become a mother, it’s sort of difficult to separate yourself from being a mother,” Williams explained. “Being a mother is not only who I am in my relationship with my daughter, but it’s a part of the kind of work that I wanna make and the relationship with the person that I want to be for her, so there is really no area of my life that is untouched. It’s at the center of everything that I do.”