Michelle Williams Not Ready to Work, Enjoys Time With Her Cowgirl

02/23/2009 at 02:00 PM ET
Sebastian/Splash News

The unforeseen heartache which surrounded Michelle Williams following the accidental death of Oscar-winning actor Heath Ledger — the one-year anniversary was on January 22nd — left the actress devastated and alone to raise their 3-year-old daughter Matilda Rose; The intense media craze that documented the single mom’s every move left a simply “burnt out” Michelle in need of a break from the spotlight.

“I’m coming back to my wits little by little. But ultimately, I am not yet ready to work. I’ve actually really been enjoying not working. I guess everybody enjoys that.”

Unable to “work through” it all, Michelle — having not made a movie since last May — instead has focused all her energy on raising Matilda, who despite her mother’s wishes for her to become a doctor, enjoys imagining herself as a real cowgirl. The city streets of Brooklyn may be a hard place for Matilda to imagine herself roping cattle, but Michelle would never consider trading their metropolitan lifestyle. Admitting she feels very “detached” from Hollywood, the actress says she “wouldn’t raise Matilda there.” She explains,

“For all the obvious reasons — being the daughter of…Being an actor’s daughter. It’s a town about one thing and I want her to have options.”

For now, Michelle says she is slowly picking up the pieces of her life as she contemplates her career, trading her celebrity status for “cooking, baking, cleaning, and sewing” with Matilda. With the pressure of movie roles constantly knocking at the door, the young mom is confident that her decision to concentrate on her daughter will leave her with no regrets. “As a young actress, you feel this intense pressure to work. Everybody says, ‘The time is now,'” she says. “But I can be 28 and take a year off. Hopefully there’ll still be something there to go back to.”

Her return to the screen, however, is not far off as Michelle fears that her life will eventually “end as a pile of dishes,” although admits that “the working mother thing is kind of a fallacy — it’s hard to do both things well.”

Source: Telegraph

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

Share this story:

Your reaction:

Add A Comment

PEOPLE.com reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 15 comments

ilovemybabyzoe on

My heart breaks for Michelle and Matilda. Thank God she has such a wonderful, doting, down-to-earth mother!
By the way, the coat Matilda is wearing in that pic is from Target. My four-year-old has it. She was upset when we got it since it wasn’t pink or sparkly enough. I should tell her that a movie star’s daughter wears it too; maybe that would make her happy!

Mary-Helen on

Poor Michelle & Matilda. I know how it feels to lose your father @ a very young age and while she is blessed that there are so many movies with her father’s likeness, it will never be the same as the relationship they could’ve enjoyed. I think Michelle is doing the right thing by keeping Matilda out of the public eye as much as possible, so she can have some sort of normalcy.

Brandi on

Michelle seems to have such a good head on her shoulders. I like that she stays slightly outside the whole Hollywood scene, I think it will only serve Matilda well in the future. I was so moved by Heath’s parents speech last night, I am glad this little girl’s father was honored in that way.

Also agree with her about the working mother thing! I recently went back to work and I am having such a horrible time balancing everything. On Saturday night at 9, I went to do my grocery shopping because it was all the time I had.

baby zoe, the coat is Land’s End I believe, my niece has the same jacket.

Harley on

The realities don’t take long to catch up to you after the passing of a love, together or not, and especially your child’s father. It’s hard enough losing someone but to have it broadcast over the media like sport with all of the conspiracy theroies makes it just that much harder. I commend Michelle for the choice she has made. She’s quite right in saying that she’ll never regret a year off. I wish them all the best in the world.

I too was moved by his parents speech at the Oscar’s. You could read the sadness on everyone’s face as they showed the crowd during their acceptance of his award.

Guaili on

i still can’t get over how much this little girl looks so much like her daddy!
i commend michelle for dedicating herself to her daughter so much at this time… it’s the best way for the both of them to heal and live with abundant love. hopefully michelle keeps heath alive in that gorgeous little lady! that’s about all one can do after something so tragic.

Lauren on

The only comment I take slight issue with is Michelle’s comment in the PEOPLE article where she says she’ll be happy making $300,000 per film as long as the roles are good, just because it shows out completely out of touch that industry in general is with the rest of the world. That aside, she seems like a fantastic mother, and despite the sadness of not having her daddy around, I’m sure Matilda will be just fine. Bravo to Michelle for keeping her out of the spotlight and allowing her to live in NYC instead of thrust into Hollywood and the fast life it brings. While so many celebrities fit their children into their lives, Michelle fits her life around her child, and I respect her immensely for that.

jamie on

That is so adorable that she wants to be a cowgirl! Looks like beautiful Matilda is taking after her father already. What a blessing that she has Heath’s films to help her remember him.

Liz on

I think she is a great mom, I see her from time to time in the neighborhood with Matilda and she is so present with her. They always seem like a great duo!

madison on

I don’t really get the comment that she feels her life will end as a pile of dishes…what does that mean?

lily on

Lauren- I thought that too at first because that is a LOT of money even if your cost of living is high and I wondered why Michelle would announce her paycheck…BUT then I remembered reading that the film was made for $300,000 and I think that is what Michelle meant when she said she’d be happy doing movies for $300,000- she meant she’d be happy doing low-budget films.

Heath’s family in the press room at the Oscars said that Michelle doesn’t introduce Matilda to all the fuss and if Heath had been here to win, he wouldn’t have gotten all caught up in the attention, which is great to hear because of all the attention and adoration on little Matilda from the media and public, I can see it affecting a child negatively.

syd on

Lauren – I was thrown off by her comment at first too, but when I read the full interview at Telegraph, it clarified that she worked on the small film “Wendy and Lucy” recently, and that movie only cost $300,000 to make (not implying that $300,000 was her salary but rather the budget for the movie). I imagine that if that was the whole budget for the movie she didn’t get paid very much at all.

I think she is incredibly down to earth and she seems like a great mom.

pinkrockstar on

Matilda is a sweet pea ♥

fay on

i love that she wants to be a cowgirl because when her parents met and fell in love her daddy was a cowboy…

i’m not explaining it right, but i think there is something very profound in that…

Laura on

I love Michelle. She seems like a very down to earth lady with an adorable daughter. Matilda’s coat is from Lands’ End.

Fevvers on

I like Michelle and Matilda seems great. I saw an (old) interview with Heath recently and wow he was just such an amazingly warm and down to earth sort of quirky guy. I kept thinking what a greta dad he must have been. Poor Matilda. Lucky she has an equally amazing mother.

From Our Partners

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters