Michelle Williams recently opened up about her friend and fellow actor Jeremy Strong’s bond with her daughter Matilda.
During an interview with Variety on Tuesday, the actress recalled how Strong helped the child deal with the loss of her father following Heath Ledger’s tragic death in 2008:
“Jeremy was serious enough to hold the weight of a child’s broken heart and sensitive enough to understand how to approach her through play and games and silliness.”
Williams also shared that even though Matilda grew up without her father, she received love and support from Strong throughout her childhood:
“[Matilda] didn’t grow up with her father, but she grew up with her Jeremy and we were changed by his ability to play as though his life depended upon it, because hers did.”
Williams and Ledger met on the set of Brokeback Mountain and started dating in 2004. The duo welcomed their daughter Matilda in 2005 but parted ways in 2007. Ledger passed away the following year, shortly before the release of The Dark Knight.
The Dawson’s Creek actress is currently married to director Thomas Kail and is expecting their second child together.
A look into Michelle Williams and Jeremy Strong’s friendship
Michelle Williams reportedly met Jeremy Strong while performing at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2004. The duo became friends shortly after and have continued to maintain their friendship over the years.
The actress once told The New Yorker that Strong moved into her Boerum Hill townhouse with another friend and Williams’ sister to support her single parenthood following Ledger’s demise.
She shared that Strong lived in the basement near her great-grandmother’s piano with a small bed and numerous books about Lincoln:
“There was an emptiness in the house. So people moved in. He had this little bed and stacks and stacks of books about Lincoln.”
At the time, the Succession star also became a paternal-like figure for Williams’ daughter and reportedly spent hours playing with her and giving her pony rides. He provided her with the love and support she needed while growing up without a father.
During Michelle Williams’ latest interview with Variety, the actress defended Jeremy Strong against a controversial New Yorker profile that allegedly attempted to mock his style of method acting. She said:
“We’ve all been in awe of his talent. We’ve watched him work harder than anyone and wait a long time for other people to recognize it. So when he became so celebrated, we all celebrated.”
Williams and Strong have remained friends nearly two decades after they first met. They will likely continue to maintain their bond in the years to come.