Michelle Williams: Matilda Reminds Me Of Heath Everday


More than a year after his tragic death, Michelle Williams opens up about losing Heath Ledger.

“I didn’t know what my boundaries were for a long time, which made interviews feel very unsafe,” Michelle, 29, shared in Vogue’s October issue (on newsstands now) about Heath, who died of an accidental drug overdose at the age of 28 in January 2008.

She added: “I can talk about grief because that’s mine, about single parenting, about trying to balance work and kids. But what I don’t have to talk about is what happened between Heath and me in our relationship.”

Michelle and Heath, who met while filming Brokeback Mountain, dated for three years before they amicably split in August 2007. They had a daughter, Matilda Rose, 3.

“Brokeback Mountain was an unrepeatable moment in time, a very charmed time in my life,” she told Vogue. “I was in love. I was in a movie I was proud to be a part of, and with a beautiful brand-new baby. Everything was good in that moment.”

When he died, she struggled to cope.

“I was holding it together by a string and a paper clip in the fall and winter,” she said. “I didn’t know if I could keep it all together… You console yourself by saying it’s all a deepening process. But it’s wired. After the first year, the pain is less intense — it’s less immediate. But the magical thinking goes away too. And that’s a whole new reckoning.”

Still, Matilda provided her strength.

“Every time I really miss him and wonder where he’s gone, I just look at her,” she said.

In July 2008, she began dating director Spike Jonze but admits it hasn’t been easy.

“I thought falling in love again was the only thing that was going to save me from the pain,” she lamented. “This erroneous idea: It just makes things more complicated.”
Of the future, she said: “I feel hopeful and grateful. For a while I thought we had lost everything. It makes you want to love better and live better.”



  1. Granny says

    My son who has been divorced for over 10 years says you never really get over your first true love. In spite of divorce or in Michelle’s case death, maybe my son is correct.

    And when you have a child(ren) there is always a connection.

  2. Dnice says

    From what I understand, Heath was reverting back to his old ways (meaning drugs & partying) which is what caused the initial seperation. He went from being a bachelor to being a father with responsibilities in a short amount of time. It’s not hard to believe that maybe the routine of domestic bliss was a struggle for him. He was leading a life that wasn’t healthy for Michelle or Mathilda but they were still in love when he died. I can see how she felt like she was hanging on by a string. She lost the father of her child and the love of her life in a time when they were taking a break. There are probably as many unanswered questions for her as there were for Heath’s fans. I am glad she is doing better and able to communicate her feelings now. I wish her and Mathilda the best.

  3. sarah says

    jeez, what is wrong with you people? you have no right to judge. She is a caring, beautiful woman and an amazing mother. Maybe she didn’t want to split with Heath – maybe she loved him all along – which is perfectly understandable.

  4. Kelli says

    My understanding is that this couple had some unfinished business. And yes it is indeed possible to have trouble with a relationship even with someone you love very much. And the way his family very much treated (treats?) her like his unspoken widow, my guess is that he died loving her too.

  5. hkd says

    Her interview comes across as though they were in a relationship still when he died. I feel she must have viewed him as a dear friend when he died and father to their lovely daughter – but to maintain she was barley holding it together after he died is a bit far fetched in my opinion. Very sad for Matilda though.

  6. morvicaud says

    I still don’t know how you can seperate from somebody you love so much … I just don’t get it.


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