Michelle Williams Opens Up About Heath Ledger And Single Motherhood

'The past—you might be done with it, but it's not done with you.'

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Our covergirl Michelle Williams is having a moment, and her most recent film, which she spoke to us about a couple of weeks ago, Manchester By The Sea, has, unsurprisingly got her another Oscar nomination.

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However, in a recent interview with WSJ Magazine, Williams opened up about her tragic past, she says her heart was broken when her ex-partner died - a phrase repeated by her character in Manchester By The Sea,

Who hasn't said at some time in their life, 'My heart is broken'? There is a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in... Even if it's not true, I needed it to be true. You need some way to justify and make sense of the brokenness, make some sort of purposefulness. There's something to learn there. The learning might not be positive; it can be really hopeless. I'm still thinking—it's never really over. But there's more time in between the waves. They still break over you, but you have more time to swim and catch your breath.

Heath Ledger, the father of her daughter Matilda, died in 2008 and Michelle stayed in their shared apartment.

When she finally left, she felt overcome with grief, once again, '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.'

There is a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in... Even if it's not true, I needed it to be true.

Michelle cried as she explained this, and then said, 'And now I can't believe I thought that. Maybe what's making me cry is I feel sad for the person who thought he won't be able to locate [us].'

Since then Michelle Williams has dated people, such as Spike Jonze, but has not gotten married, 'because I have not had a person to whom I would—so I have not let my sense of conformity or duty override my instincts.'

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And her instincts are important to her, and practical too, since she is a single mother after all,

It's hard to romanticize romance when you're 36. When you've been a parent for 11 years and you've done it alone, you don't have romantic ideals, because you have a practical understanding that you can do it by yourself. The romantic idea of meeting your person and having a storybook family life that looks like the model you grew up with—that doesn't really exist for me... Sometimes it can feel alienating; at school functions, there's only two of us single mothers. Everyone else has a partner, so we buddy up. But I have a family; I have the thing you typically get married for. I live in a commune.

And thankfully now, Michelle has plenty of people and friends in her building and elsewhere to help her out if she needs it, but it wasn't always that way.

When you've been a parent for 11 years and you've done it alone, you don't have romantic ideals, because you have a practical understanding that you can do it by yourself.

She told the magazine that she didn't always reach out when she needed it, and that it her only regret.

I wish I had asked for more help. I still experience a slight pang of shame about needing something, about burdening someone, but I override that. It's a reciprocal relationship. When you ask someone for help you're allowing someone else the opportunity to give, and that's one of the secrets of happiness, to do good for others.

It sounds as though the worst is over, and that Michelle Williams is stronger than ever, but whatever she has learned and however much time had passed, she acknowledges you can't run away from your past.

'The past—you might be done with it, but it's not done with you.'

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