Tribeca 2012: Michelle Williams on 'Take This Waltz,' Her 'Oz' Prequel and Unique Sense of Humor


The Oscar nominee spoke to THR about her new projects during a chat in New York City.

Though her Golden Globe nomination for playing Marilyn Monroe last year came (perhaps a bit surprisingly) in the Musical or Comedy category, Michelle Williams has long focused on daunting, dramatic indie roles. In fact, it hadn't been since her minor role in 2003's The Station Agent that she had done anything truly resembling a light-hearted film, so when she received the script for writer/director Sarah Polley's Take This Waltz, her perception may have been a little skewed.

"I gave the script to a friend of mine to read, I was like, 'I'm so excited, I'm going to make a comedy,'" Williams told The Hollywood Reporter at the film's screening at the Tribeca Film Fest on Sunday. "And I came back an hour later and she was on the couch reading it and she was crying, and she was like, 'I don't know when it's going to get funny, Michelle!'

"Yeah, that's my kind of comedy," Williams added, shrugging and laughing.

In the film, Williams plays a woman caught between her loving husband (Seth Rogen) and the handsome, alluring artist who lives across the street (Luke Kirby). She had long been hoping to work with Polley, she said, and the script offered her far more than just some potential laughs.

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"I think one of the most important things for me is that I thought it was talking about a transition that you make in your life in your late 20s from being a girl into being a woman, and that's the transition that I was in," Williams offered.

Take This Waltz has run for nearly nine months on the festival circuit -- it bowed at last September's Toronto International Film Festival -- building buzz and securing distribution. That is often the case for Williams' independent projects, but her next film should face no such issues. 

"That was amazing because of the man who led us all," Williams said of working on Oz: The Great and Powerful, Disney's star-studded Wizard of Oz prequel. "[Director] Sam Raimi is a real throwback and an absolute gentleman and made every day feel like I was on a small, collaborative indie film... It's such an honor to have little girls think of me as Glinda the Good Witch."