Michelle Williams Covers Harper’s Bazaar: Talks Reshoots and “Quiet Rage”

4 Jan

Typically I am not one for writing down any New Year’s resolutions; in part because September is when I look to making goals/figuring out things, in part because I think there is often a lot of pressure to better yourself as soon as January hits. My fridge is still full of cheese, there are still countless chocolates left over for Christmas for me to go full clean living as soon as the bell chimes. When I quit smoking eleven years ago, I waited until February and used the return of Lost as my goal to give up. And I haven’t had a cigarette since.

But in 2018 I decided to write things down. One of my Christmas gifts was a BB-8 Moleskin daily diary, this is all part of my attempt to be better organized. So I can plan pitch ideas better and don’t miss opportunities because I didn’t realize an anniversary of a pop culture moment was approaching. Some of these goals are big work related things, others are much smaller. What this long intro is saying is one resolution is to not buy a new issue of a magazine, until I have read the previous one. The stack on my coffee table with issues going back as far as November (so bought in October) was rather sobering, so I spent Tuesday afternoon making my way through it.

Three issues of Harper’s Bazaar later—I’m so impressed with all the 150th anniversary pieces from 2017—and I figured I wouldn’t buy this magazine this much in 2018. And then I found out who was on the cover.Regular readers will know that I stan hard for Michelle Williams, other than Gillian Anderson this is my longest relationship with an actress I adore. Haircuts have been influenced both way back when and in my adult life. The reason I plan on seeing The Greatest Showman at the weekend is Williams.

The brocade jacket is Louis Vuitton (of course), Williams looks like a fancy general about to make some kind of command. And this might be my favorite cover of hers in a long time. The others aren’t bad, this is just better. The rest of the shoot is backstage glam themed, shot at the historic Musée des Arts Forains in Paris.The subscriber cover is more delicate, but just as stunning. “The show must go on…” is of course a reference to the All the Money in the World post-Kevin Spacey allegations reshoots, but also doubles as a nod to The Greatest Showman. I haven’t seen this movie yet (I will and I love this piece by Ira Madison III), but the interview took place just before those last minute reshoots with Christopher Plummer. Williams talks about watching The Sound of Music with her twelve-year old daughter Matilda,* how they have been referring to Plummer as their hero, “to be able to tell my daughter that… Captain von Trapp is going to save the day!”

*Weirdly, nothing makes me feel older than celeb kids no longer being three.

Any interview with someone in the Hollywood business right now is going to involve a discussion about the Harvey fallout. In the case of Williams it makes even more sense that this would come up, as the film she is promoting has been directly impacted by allegations against a co-star. During the interview she discusses how the focus tends to stick to the perpetrator and what this means:

“They’re the center of attention. It’s still about them. Because at the heart of every predator is a narcissist. That’s the real pity of abuse: it doesn’t stop with the event, the abuser becomes the center of things for a very long time. So here we are now. But I think this has been a very moving time. I’ve had so many emotions.”

Williams is a private person. She has no social media presence aside from guest starring in bestie Busy Philipps‘ Insta Stories. But it would seem that this big shift at the end of 2017 is making her question her position of privilege of keeping this level of privacy up:

“I’m realizing little by little that by being an actress you have a platform. I never wanted it. I would rather not say anything, ever, at any time. But there’s this strange opportunity I have, and so I struggle with these two polarities. The desire for a very private, quiet, life, and the fact that I have the opportunity to say something that more than one person might hear.”

And I can’t help but wonder (oh hey Carrie Bradshaw) if Busy’s social media profile along with this reckoning is impacting how Williams sees her role in the world. She also discusses her daughter’s reaction to the presidential election and this is one of the most candid interviews I have read with her. It has also taken ten years for an interview to not focus on the death of Heath Ledger in a overt manner.

“I think in the moment she [Matilda] realized that everything I’ve told her, everything I led her to believe, was not true. We are not equal, we cannot do or be anything we want to be. She and I have been in a quiet rage ever since, and I think the same is true for every woman I know personally.”

Again this feels like a shift as a result of the year that was 2017.

The February issue of Harper’s Bazaar is on newsstands now. You can also read the full interview here.


5 Responses to “Michelle Williams Covers Harper’s Bazaar: Talks Reshoots and “Quiet Rage””


  1. Out of the Box: Look of the Week | TV Ate My Wardrobe - January 5, 2018

    […] It is also Winter TCA! So much TV news to digest. Plus new magazines are hitting newsstands. For a deep dive into the super candid Michelle Williams conversation with Harper’s Bazaar head here. […]

  2. Out of the Box: Look of the Week | TV Ate My Wardrobe - January 5, 2018

    […] It is also Winter TCA! So much TV news to digest. Plus new magazines are hitting newsstands. For a deep dive into the super candid Michelle Williams conversation with Harper’s Bazaar head here. […]

  3. Best of the Pre-Golden Globes Parties: The BAFTA Tea Party | TV Ate My Wardrobe - January 7, 2018

    […] great on Issa RaeMichelle Williams in a very Michelle Williams Louis Vuitton (of course) choice. You know I love it. Looking forward to Busy’s Insta Stories from tonight. More ruffles! I really wish this […]

  4. The 2018 Golden Globes Red Carpet Part I | TV Ate My Wardrobe - January 8, 2018

    […] high point was seeing activists accompanying A-list stars as their dates to the Golden Globes. In my post about Michelle Williams’ super candid interview in Harper’s Bazaar, I mentioned how […]

  5. Out of the Box: Look of the Week | TV Ate My Wardrobe - January 12, 2018

    […] discussing using her place of privilege in respect to what has been going on in Hollywood in her Harper’s Bazaar interview, Williams came up with the idea of bringing activists as guests. Williams was accompanied by Tarana […]

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