Spotlight: Michelle Williams
From quirky teens to Hollywood queens, the ‘My Week with Marilyn’ star takes on the industry’s toughest roles
The popular teen drama series Dawson's Creek (1998-2003) featured an abundance of promising teenage actors poised to make their big breaks. When the show ended, though, each young star took a different path. Katie Holmes married America's favorite Scientologist; Joshua Jackson is still best remembered as Pee Wee hockey player Charlie Conway from The Mighty Ducks; and James Van Der Beek has proved teen movies are his one and only forte. Michelle Williams, however, has truly realized her potential. Her three Academy Award nominations show Williams has blossomed into a talented actress. During the upcoming Academy Awards, she will again be in the running for Best Actress in a Leading Role, this time for her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe in the acclaimed My Week with Marilyn. Let's take a look at the top moments which have defined Williams' career so far.
(The Station Agent)
Williams has a relatively minor role for this terrific independent film. Still, she thrives in her role as the quirky librarian who befriends an introverted, train-obsessed dwarf (played by Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage). I know I just made this movie sound ridiculous, but it really is an excellent film.
4. Emily Tetherow
Meek's Cutoff (2010) is one of the better Westerns to come out in recent years. The cinematography is astounding, the acting is phenomenal and the plot is exhilarating. The film tells the tale of three families who get lost on the Oregon Trail during 1845. As a strong female settler, Williams leads a first-rate cast in this epic historical journey.
In the powerful film Brokeback Mountain (2005), Williams acts alongside Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway. Williams plays the wife of Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger), a closeted homosexual secretly in love with Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal). This powerful role earned Williams her first Academy Award nomination (Best Supporting Actress).
In Blue Valentine (2010), Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling display some of their most exceptional work. The film follows the twists and turns of Dean and Cindy's relationship. From their first encounter to the struggles of their troubled marriage, the film displays authentic, powerful emotions. To achieve this level of realism, Williams and Gosling even temporarily recreated the life of their characters while preparing for the film. Her brilliant performance in Blue Valentine put Williams in the running for yet another Academy Award - this time as an Actress in a Leading Role.
1. Marilyn Monroe
(My Week with Marilyn)
As the major American sex symbol Marilyn Monroe, Williams flourishes. She nails her role, simultaneously embodying Monroe's two personas: the flirtatious dumb blonde Marilyn Monroe and the intelligent yet reserved Norma Jeane Baker - her given name. Williams again proves her incredible ability to morph into any character.
Unlike the rest of the Dawson's Creek cast, it looks like Michelle Williams will be sticking around Hollywood for the long haul.