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How Michelle Williams Got Into Character For All the Money In the World

Michelle Williams is a critically acclaimed American actress who has become known in recent years for her award worthy performances. She first drew attention for her work in Dawson’s Creek before transitioning into film roles. Michelle Williams has won critical acclaim for the roles she’s played in movies like Brokeback Mountain, My Week With Marilyn, Shutter Island, Blue Valentine, and Manchester by the Sea. Now she will be portraying Gail Harris in All the Money in the World, which comes out on December 25, 2017.

Screen Rant got a chance to talk with Michelle Williams on press day, where we discussed how Michelle Williams prepared for her emotionally charged role as Gail Harris, what it was like to work with Ridley Scott, and the difficulties of getting into the mind space of Gail for certain scenes.

Screen Rant: How do you prepare yourself for such an emotionally charged role and what did you do for preparation in your research?

Michelle Williams: I think it's a it's a kind of two part job there's a kind of externalization of who Gail was, in the clips that were available, in the research material that was available and that helped me build a kind of external reality and there's a part that's imagination and like breathing life into something, so, it's sort of a two part process and some of it's kind of dry and research based and you read a book and then some of it's more imaginative and dreamy and the connections that it makes.

Screen Rant: You know you've been fortunate enough to work with so many master directors, what can you tell me about Ridley’s directing process?

Michelle Williams: I’ll tell you what’s really different with Ridley then with other people that I've worked with, is that he gives you total freedom. I thought that maybe he would, I call him Boss because, he's you know, he's Sir, he's Sir Boss, he's Sir Boss Chief Man and there wasn't an ounce of that hierarchy in our relationship on set. We were, he gave us equal footing, he gave me as much freedom as I wanted, he let me try whatever I wanted, he would never prescribe anything to me, he never said this is how I think your character would react, he just trusted in me in my preparation and then asked me to be spontaneous and in the moment and deal with circumstances and allow things to be messy and I had the time of my life.

Screen Rant: You know this film had a little bit of reshoots. . .

Michelle Williams: Just a little, minor . . .

Screen Rant: Was it hard to get back into the mind space of Gail?

Michelle Williams: No because I think that when you work so closely on someone and you care so much, you spend so much time, and it was so important to me they just become a part of you, they become something that you can recall, a space you can walk back into, with some repreperation, but they live, you know, they kind of, they’re all living somewhere inside of me.

Screen Rant: Now, you've been known to pick great roles with amazing scripts and Venom is coming up and I know, that has that's so much stacked talent, you, Tom Hardy, Riz Ahmed, Woody Harrelson . . .

Michelle Williams: Yeah.

Screen Rant: It's amazing, so what is it about that script that’s attracting so much, so much talent around it?

Michelle Williams: We're having fun. . . we're having fun, it's. . .  Well for me it was Tom, I just thought, well, that guy knows what he's doing. I am going to go steal some of his moves, figure out what he knows. I just wanted to, you know, you're only as good as the people that you play with and I really wanted to challenge myself with him as a partner.

Screen Rant: Now, has Venom been comparable to anything else you've done like previously and what can you tell us about Ann Weying?

Michelle Williams: I have done one other movie where I was asked to track a tennis ball with my eyes and pretend it was a giant creature thing, not my favorite thing in the world to do, but you know, it is a skillset and I am trying to learn it. She's OK what can I tell you? Not too much right now.

MORE: Charlie Plummer Interview for All the Money in the World

Key Release Dates
  • All the Money in the World (2017) release date: Dec 25, 2017
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How Michelle Williams Got Into Character For All the Money In the World