Michelle Williams on the 'intense pain' of losing Heath Ledger
Speaking to US Vogue, the 29-year-old actress reflected on Ledger’s tragic death in January 2008, and spoke of her feelings in the immediate aftermath: ‘I didn’t know if I could keep it all together.
‘After the first year, the pain is less intense; it’s less immediate’ she described, ‘But the magical thinking goes away too. And that’s a whole new reckoning. But every time I really miss him and wonder where he’s gone, I just look at (Matilda).’
Williams and Ledger split a few months before the actor’s death. Matilda, who will be four-years-old next month, was their only child.
She now lives in Brooklyn with her daughter, and told of the intense media attention they receive: ‘Because he died — it’s so hard to say it, now that it’s a fact — because of this tragedy there’s more paparazzi. That is hard to be graceful and understanding about.’
As for how to explain the constant photographers to her young child, she tells Matilda: ‘It’s because people really loved your daddy that they want to take your picture, to know you’re all right.’
Since Heath’s death, Williams briefly dated director Spike Jonze, a relationship that has now ended, but the actress admitted she hoped would have helped her move on.
‘The timing was impossible. I thought falling in love again was the only thing that was going to save me from the pain. This (was an) erroneous idea: It just makes things more complicated.’
Reflecting on the good times though she spoke of her fondness for Brokeback Mountain, the film that brought her and Heath together: ‘Brokeback Mountain was an unrepeatable moment in time, a very charmed time in my life. I was in love; I was in a movie I was proud to be a part of, and with a beautiful brand-new baby. Everything was good in that moment.’