I’m hooked on the hard thing. I believe in the hard way. Long recipes, no shortcuts.


Unobtrusive as a shadow, she slips in…wearing black jeans and a fisherman’s sweater as pale as her tousled hair, which looks as if she just rolled out of bed—except that she never went to bed last night. She’s the opposite of a diva making an entrance; this is a woman who knows how to hide in plain sight, with no makeup, no frills, no attention-grabbing gestures. In this busy restaurant she seems to inhabit a bubble of stillness; it’s easy to see why one critic described her as “a slight, unprepossessing person.” […]

Finding suitable film roles is tougher, and their demands often conflict with her daughter’s needs. “I think about work and how to do both all the time. I worry about the next job and when it’s coming and will I be able to get it, but when you’re looking at something, there’s also the criteria of timing, the school calendar, the location, the duration and just where we’re at as a family. How much does this work for me as a person, and how much does this work for my family? Sometimes they balance up perfectly, and sometimes they lean in one direction.” […]

She is also a woman who understands paralyzing grief. Like Randi, a mother forever shattered by a malevolent moment of fate in Manchester by the Sea, Williams is a mother who has spent years trying to recover from an irreparable loss…After (Heath) Ledger died (from an accidental drug overdose), she found it excruciating to give up the home they had shared with Matilda’s father.  “At that time, I was inconsolable, because I felt, How will he be able to find us? This is where we lived, and he won’t know where we are,” she says, dabbing away tears. “And now I can’t believe I thought that.” She shakes her head. “The past—you might be done with it, but it’s not done with you.” […] Over time, she has learned a tough lesson. “When you find yourself in hell, the best thing to do is keep going,” she says. “Don’t stop. Put one foot in front of the other. The territory keeps changing, but it won’t change if you sit down. Keep moving.” […]

Ever since her adolescence, work has provided the essential constant that structures Williams’s life. “It’s the thing I’ve always done. It’s the thing I know how to do,” she says. “It’s the thing that makes our life work. It’s how we buy groceries. In the times when my self-esteem has been so thin as to be untraceable, there’s always been a thread of work to hang onto. When I’ve felt without a sense of identity, there’s been work. Now I have a more well-developed sense of self and of defining personal accomplishments, so it’s not the same kind of substitute for self that it once was.” […]

“I’m hooked on the hard thing. I believe in the hard way. Long recipes, no shortcuts. I like things that take time. We only have so much time; we only have one life. That’s time I want to spend on things that really are worth time.” […]

~ Leslie Bennetts, excerpts from Through It All, Michelle Williams is Having a Blast (wsj.com, Jan 23, 2017)

Note: Michelle Williams Bio


  1. a wise woman

    Liked by 1 person

  2. She’s always struck me as someone who looks petite and is (IMHO) exquisitely beautiful, but who’s also possessing of a steel core that keeps her upright in a storm. Have admired her ever since I saw her in Brokeback Mountain.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I would listen to Michelle Williams read the phone book (if that even exists any longer!) She appears in all the films made by one of my fave directors, a woman, Kelly Reichardt (who I recently heard speak here in NY) — and each of her films demands the quality Williams (and so few others) consistently brings, a quiet modesty, to each role. I rarely fangirl over “celebrities” but Williams and Reichardt, for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Whew! Such an admirable woman.

    Liked by 1 person


  1. In lumina says:

    […] via I’m hooked on the hard thing. I believe in the hard way. Long recipes, no shortcuts. — Live &amp… […]

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