How Michelle Williams Scored An Oscar Nomination With An 11 Minute Role

Michelle Williams gets very emotional while talking about Manchester by the Sea, her latest movie that tells the story of a family whose life is marred by tragedies. As a woman who has suffered a loss in her personal life, Williams can easily connect to the emotional storyline that highlights the deep losses suffered by the movie’s characters.

Despite the fact that Michelle Williams’ role in Manchester by the Sea spans a sum total of 11 minutes, her portrayal of a woman who files for divorce following a family tragedy was so convincing that it earned her the fourth Oscar nomination of her acting career, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The actress explained that even though her character takes up very little screen time, the preparation for a shorter role is the same as for a starring one.

“I think what is difficult about shorter roles is that they still require the same amount of preparation. You have to communicate an entire person in a very short span of time.”

The movie focuses on a character named Lee Chandler, played by Oscar nominee Casey Affleck, who is appointed as the sole guardian of his nephew after his brother dies. Michelle Williams plays the estranged wife of Lee Chandler, who is depicted as a tormented character. Manchester By the Sea was well appreciated when it was premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and it also won the National Board of Review’s award as the best film of 2016. Now, the film has been nominated for an impressive six Oscars, including a best supporting actress nod for Michelle Williams.

The Brokeback Mountain actress revealed that the role was an emotionally challenging one for her due to the nightmarish tragedy suffered by her character in the movie. Despite the short duration of her role, Michelle Williams arguably features in some of the most emotionally powerful scenes in the movie.

Michelle Williams suffered a setback in her personal life when Health Ledger, the Australian actor and her former partner, died in 2008 due to an accidental overdose of prescribed medications. The pair met on the set of Brokeback Mountain in 2005 and went on to have a three-year romantic relationship which included the birth of their daughter, Matilda. Even though the pair had ended their relationship by the time of the actor’s death, they had remained on good terms and were both playing an active, positive role in the joint parenting of their young daughter.

Michelle Williams has admitted that she still feels the pain of Heath Ledger’s death, causing her to closely identify with her tragic character in Manchester By the Sea.

The Brokeback Mountain actress has raised Matilda as a single mother, and she admitted that after losing Ledger, she initially never even considered rekindling her love life as she wanted to focus on the challenges of raising Matilda in Ledger’s absence. According to the Independent, Michelle Williams admitted that she is still hesitant to go out on a date due to her personal circumstances.

“Talk about a learning process. I think, God, what would I say about it? I feel really sensitive about it and certainly did not expect to still be dating at 36 with an 11-year-old. This is not what I imagined.”

Today, Michelle Williams is overcome by a sense of fulfillment when she sees her daughter Matilda, now 11-years-old, enjoying a simple, joy-filled life as a normal preteen. According to the Huffington Post, the actress spoke about the joyous and emotional moment that made her realize that she has been successful as a single mother.

“I watched [Matilda] warm in the sun, in her swimsuit, get on her bicycle and smile and wave as she rode off to go meet her friends. I went back into the house and sobbed because of this incredibly simple moment ― common everyday happiness.”

Michelle Williams has admitted that there are times when she feels the need for a romantic companion or a life partner. However, the actress is not eagerly seeking love, partly because of her commitment to raising her daughter, but also because she is a very private person. According to People magazine, the Brokeback Mountain actress also revealed that she is determined that she will never rush into a relationship or marry the wrong person.

“I’m a very domestic creature. I just want to stay home and take care of people. But I’m also happy with myself and just because I might have a desire to be with someone… that won’t lead me to marry the wrong person.”

[Featured Image by Chris Jackson/Getty Images]