Michelle Williams is expecting her third child. The Oscar-nominated actress, 41, and her husband Thomas Kail, 44, will welcome the baby this fall. Variety has learned.
“It’s totally joyous,” says Williams. Variety. “As the years go by, you wonder what they might or might not have in store for you. It’s exciting to discover that something you want over and over again is available once again. That good fortune does not go unnoticed by me or my family.”
It will be the couple’s second child: their son, Hart, was born in 2020. Williams has a 16-year-old daughter, Matilda, from her relationship with the late actor Heath Ledger. Kail, best known for directing “Hamilton,” worked with Williams on “Fosse/Verdon.”
Williams gave birth to Hart during lockdown, and says raising a young child helped put all the dark headlines of the pandemic era into perspective.
“It was a reminder that life goes on,” says Williams. “The world we brought a baby into is not the world we thought we brought a baby into, but the baby ignores it. He experiences the absolute joy of discovery and the happiness of a loving home.”
Being a mother has also made her more committed to her work as an actress and to improving the world around her as an advocate for equal pay and reproductive freedoms, issues she has worked to raise awareness of in recent years.
“There’s nothing that commits you to a better world than raising a great kid,” says Williams. “It’s the ultimate creative act.”
Williams spoke with Variety for its annual edition of the Cannes Film Festival. She will be in the south of France for the premiere of “Showing Up,” her fourth film with director Kelly Reichardt, with whom she previously collaborated on “Meeks Cutoff,” “Certain Women” and “Wendy and Lucy.” “Showing Up” centers on a sculptor who struggles with distractions as she works to put on a large art exhibition. It’s a film about the joys and frustrations of the creative process, something Williams sees parallels with in terms of parenting.
“The most ecstatic moments in life and art are the transcendent ones,” says Williams. “Having children is like that. You combine your DNA with someone else’s to create a new life.”
Williams has a busy 2022. In addition to “Showing Up,” which A24 will premiere later this year, she will also co-star in “The Fabelmans,” Steven Spielberg’s autobiographical coming-of-age film. She will play a character loosely based on the director’s mother. After that, Williams plans to take a break until the baby is born.
“I have nothing,” she says. “I was wondering if I could work while pregnant, but I’m too tired.”