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Michelle Williams Opens Up About Heath Ledger's Death

Michelle Williams Opens Up About Heath Ledger's Death

Almost three years after Heath Ledger‘s tragic death, Michelle Williams is opening up about how she has coped with his loss.

Here’s what the 30-year-old actress shared with Nightline:

On Heath’s passing: “In a strange way, I miss that year, because all those possibilities that existed then are gone. It didn’t seem unlikely to me that he could walk through a door or could appear behind a bush. It was a year of very magical thinking, and in some ways I’m sad to be moving further and further away from it.”

On handling the news: “I found meanings around the circumstances but the actual event itself I can’t find a, I can’t find it. I can’t find a meaning for it. I can find meanings in things and people and relationships that have sprung up and friendships that have strengthened. I found a lot of meaning in that but not in ‘why.’”

On giving their daughter Matilda a normal childhood: “It’s going well. We’re doing a good job of it. It is of more importance to me than anything in my life. I would rearrange anything to make that possible. If something starts to encroach on that it’s going to be removed from the equation.”

Watch Michelle‘s interview, which also includes her Blue Valentine co-star Ryan Gosling.

Michelle Williams on Nightline
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Posted to: Michelle Williams

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  • CanadaGirl

    She’s a lovely woman and very dignified. Best wishes to her and Matilda.
    LOL. Ryan, “That’s my face.”

  • blair

    She has such grace. I’m glad she is doing well.

  • Shia LeBouf

    exactly how long is fugels going to milk that drugies OD?

  • annie

    She is such a sweet woman. Hope Matilda keeps on the path that is good for her.

  • Hit the bricks

    @Shia LeBouf: This is the first time I’ve ever heard her say anything about Heath’s death. She’s classy, your trashy. Take your negativity elsewhere.


    Oh, the hard working campaing to get an Oscar nom… not even her kid is leaved out of it.

  • Nic

    Calssy, articulate, talented and stunning, loved this!

  • Rosy

    Incredible actress

  • Ismail

    He could’ve been the best actor of all time!
    He won an oscar for The Dark Knight & shoudl’ve won one for Brokeback Mountain!

    Michelle Williams .. the only woman he truly loved.

  • nina

    well well well…she hasn’t said ONE word about Heath all these years (for which I admired her) & now she’s all over it? She really wants that Oscar, doesn’t she? That is NOT cool man… :(

  • nina

    They were a beautiful couple! She’s a promising actress and he was a talented actor
    She still loves him to see the tears in her eyes and she will love him forever!
    Plus, Mathilda lot like Heath, she is so cute

    Michelle is classy, beautiful, sweet, smart and talented

    RIP Heath

  • jessy

    well well well…she hasn’t said ONE word about Heath all these years (for which I admired her) & now she’s all over it? She really wants that Oscar, doesn’t she? That is NOT cool man… :(@Hit the bricks: that’s the point; she never talked about him before, but she was never this close to an Oscar before (after his death) I like her, but if you don’t see what she’s doing, then you’re blind

  • fame game

    I have no words for her blatantly obvious use of Heath’s death, not, at this point in time, to draw attention to herself and her film that she’s promoting to high heaven. I never really liked her, but now I have a reason to not respect her. It sickens me how actors will do ANYTHING to get an award or score box office/

  • Hit the bricks

    It’s her life and if she wants to talk about it, or feels she now able to express her grief then she can. She barely said anything anyway and was quite restrained in her responses. I think she behaved in a respectful, proper, and gracious manner. You’re free to think otherwise, but I reserve the right to form my own opinions.

  • dani

    Wasn’t she the one that dumped Heath? Wonder if she feels any guilt over it considering how much he adored her and within 6 months he was dead. I miss Heath and her talking about him bothers me, especially since it falls so closely to Oscar campaigning. Seems like a desperate ploy for sympathy votes, had she talked about Heath this summer I probably would have felt differently.

  • mln

    you people do realize reporters bring it up. they bring it up all the time to her. sometimes she makes a comment, sometimes she doesn’t. but they never let it go. even if she doesn’t want them to ask, they would anyways

  • http://justjared Mjforlife

    So now she isn’t allowed to talk about the father of her daughter’s death? WTF
    LOL Ryan “Creatively we are doing it” hahaha.

  • Dee

    I love her! It must be tough to talk about Heath she looks really sad anytime she does. She seems like a great mother. She’s incredibly talented she deserves an Oscar if not for this movie but no doubt in one of her future roles.

  • Gilmore

    What a beautiful classy women. I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like for Matilda to not know her father. She handles situations like this well, can’t wait to see Blue Valentine.

  • Dear Katie

    Dear Katie: We know that you are jealous that people like Michelle. However; Please tell Tom that sending his minions out to write ridiculous negative comments about this classy woman simply makes you look more pathetic.

    Michelle does not drag Mathilda out for the paparazzi.
    Michelle has rarely discussed Heath’s passing. I truly believe that there was a love between them regardless of their relationship ending. Heath obviously had demons in his life that he was trying to hide.
    Michelle chooses roles for the love of acting and does not take garbage roles for a quick buck.
    Michelle has real friends in her life who love her and Mathilda.

    What do you have Katie?
    A fake marriage.
    A child that you are screwing up for the sake of publicity and Tom’s crazy cult’s demands.
    No friends.
    ahhhh…but you DO have a boatload of cash. That’s more important than anything else.

  • Paula

    I still say Michelle and Ryan are hot for each other. Michelle is only hasitant because she doesn’t want a rep. for dating her co workers. She used to have a habit dating her directors and co-stars. Michael Showalter (the Baxter), Heath (Brokeback), Spike Jonze (SYN) and before that. I say, so what. If you are hot for Ryan, go for it girl. Life’s too short to worry about image.

  • Ms Barleo Gaga Pitt Fan

    She is SO stunning and so smart. What a class act, full of depth and just sexy. Take note, the Lindsay Lohan, Aguilera, Paris, Britney: THIS is how a woman conducts herself.

  • mka

    i guess you don’t know that michelle was nominated for an Oscar in 2006 for Brokeback Mountain , she did a great job with that character, she ahs become in such a great actress and is to bad that people think that she is doind this just to get an Oscar, is really stupid!

  • LALA

    No-one believes that Michelle answered questions about Heath in order to sway members of The Academy. It’s just a few crazy TomKat fans that are posting over and over.

  • mka

    what a stupid comment ! i guess you don’t know her that well, she talk about heath another time, and she has the right to talk about it anytime she wants, she is a great actress and she doesn’t need that dumb people who doesn’t like her talk shi… about her!

  • mka


  • mka


  • Cristobal


  • bad boi

    she is incredible!!!
    great actress, gorgeous & talented!!
    i can’ stop crying whe she talking about her & Heath !!!
    love them!!
    God bless her & her beautiful heart !!!!

  • H.M.

    It was not Michelle who dumped Heath. Even though he may have had a drug habit, this wasn’t the main reason for their break up. If you read the Vanity Fair article where Terry Giliam, a friend of Heath’s, gave an interview (promoting IODP) , it was clear that it was Heath who wanted the break up, realizing he and Michelle are too different. At the time of his death Heath was already dating model Gemma Ward. Heath and Michele were over for half a year before he passed.
    After his death Michelle shortly dated director Spike Jonze whom she met on the set of Synechdoche New York,

  • Lily

    Michelle remained very dignified despite the stupid line of questioning
    You could totally see she didn’t want to talk about Heath’s death but the interviewer just couldn’t leave it alone

  • Jokergurl

    I’ve always liked her ever since she was on Dawson’s Creek. When I saw the Brokeback Mountain and the scenes between Heath and Michelle were magic, even when their characters were fighting you could just see they were falling in love. I thought Michelle and Heath made a great couple, both talented, both cool, unpretentious. I think she was just in utter shock, which is why she didn’t talk about it until several years afterwards. It was just a shock even how he died using doctor prescribed medication, which happens all the time to young people. It was NOT an overdose, it was deadly combination of sleeping pills and anti-depressants. :( She dealt with the constant questions with dignity and respect. Heath is always going to be with her because every time she looks at Matilda she’s going to see Heath, she looks just like him. RIP Heath. Michelle is a great actress, there’s vulnerability to her that few actresses have on screen and a sophistication. I hope she gets nominated for an Oscar. I wish her and Matilda the best :)

  • IHaveAQuestion

    Michelle vs Katie
    Michelle is:
    a better actress
    a better mother
    much prettier
    more real
    a better person
    more realistic and smarter

  • darla

    Maybe you will shut your trap if what happened to her, will happens to you ha?. The Oscar has a strict rule of choosing their nominees campaigning for it is not legal. And if it happens to that she’s on their list then suck it up loser SHE DESERVES IT SHE’S TALENTED, SMART AND BEAUTIFUL NOT TO MENTION CLASSY .SOMETHING THAT YOUR NOT.

  • Jim

    What we really want to know is why she split with him. Was it drugs, or what?

  • Jim

    This website is getting so cluttered with ads it is a mess to use. Perhaps we should go elsewhere.

  • Jim


  • Toodles

    @dani: things fall apart.

  • teri

    I believe Michelle is forever linked to Heath, even if Matilda were not here. They were as private as they could be about their relationship and I think she is trying to keep as much to herself as she is able. I don’t know her but I would think that many reporters ask her questions about Heath because he is such an interesting person. Matilda is so cute and you can see both of them in her, it is both a blessing and a curse.

  • anna

    Who is she talking about when she says “WE are doing a good job (of giving Matilda a normal childhood”? I’ve watched some of her movies but don’t know much about her personal life and never really heard her talk much about Heath and his death, is she dating or married to anyone?

  • Jerry

    Wow, she’s a class act. So smart and articulate. And graceful. It’s heartbreaking to hear her talk about Heath’s death. What a sad tragedy. But Mathilda is just the spitting image of her dad!

  • Patty

    Her eyes speaks for what she really feels about Heath.. both happiness and sadness.. she wants to remember everything beautifull

  • Patty

    Her eyes speaks for what she really feels about Heath.. both happiness and sadness.. she wants to remember everything beautiful …

  • jean

    @mln: she NEVER made a comment before, only now that she’s promoting this movie&campaigning for an Oscar;

  • jean

    funny how people would like to remember them as a fairytail love story; you people forget that Heath broke up with her in September 2007&he was dating Australian model Gemma Ward; so maybe you should accept that Michele was NOT his one true love&no matter how much you, her fans, hate it, it is very suspicious that she speaks of him now! And if reporters asked her&she didn’t want to answer, she would have declined like she did so many times before, but not now…it’s Oscartime!

  • wire

    Still remember the morning my sis woke me up and told me that Heath was dead. What a tragedy, so young, so talented.
    Rest in peace Heath, you’re still here through your art.

  • LALA

    “WE” meaning a normal family / friend support system. Jake G and Busy Phillips ar her godparents and I’m sure that she has other friends who are there for her.
    …and you are right…she rarely speaks of her PERSONAL life. That one TomKat idiot that keeps posting BS over and over needs to go away from here. You sound pathetic.

  • meow

    michelle looks like Taylor swift

  • Sheri

    Anna ~ I think when Michelle says “we” … she means that she and Matilda are doing a good job of it together as a mother/daughter team. At least that’s what I got out of it when I saw her interview. She looks stunningly beautiful here, too. I hope she finds happiness. She seems like a wonderful mother and a very soulful person.

  • yo sista

    Nose JOB alert!