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Michelle Williams: Heath Ledger ‘Loved Me Before Anybody Thought I Was Talented or Pretty’

Always in her heart. Michelle Williams opened up about Heath Ledger’s death in a rare interview.

The Greatest Showman star, 37, recalled his passing while covering Vanity Fair’s September issue. “When you’re a single parent and that element of provider and protection is missing, it’s scary,” she told the publication.

Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams attend IFP’s (Independent Feature Project) 15th Annual Gotham Awards at Chelsea Piers November 30, 2005 in New York City. Evan Agostini/Getty Images

Related: Remembering Heath Ledger: 10 Years After His Death

Williams and Ledger met in 2005 while costarring in Brokeback Mountain. They welcomed daughter Matilda Ledger in October of that year and split in September 2007. Five months later, Ledger died of an accidental drug overdose at age 28.

Williams’ best friend, Busy Philipps, also reflected on Williams’ state of mind upon losing Ledger.

Heath Ledger arrives with Michelle Williams to the “Brokeback Mountain” premiere in Australia on January 10, 2006. Picture Media/

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“Obviously, when Heath passed away and people had this insatiable interest in her and her child and their grief, it was overwhelming and incredibly painful,” said Philipps, 39, who costarred alongside Williams in Dawson’s Creek from 1998 to 2008.

The All the Money in the World star previously spoke about life as a single parent while covering Porter magazine’s December 2016 issue.

Related: Most Shocking Celebrity Deaths of All Time

“In all honesty, for pretty much everything else, I feel like I’m a believer in not fighting circumstances, accepting where you are and where you’ve been,” she explained. “In pretty much all senses but one. I would be able to go totally down that line of thinking were it not for Matilda not having her dad. You know, that’s just something that doesn’t … I mean, it just won’t ever be right.”

Williams has a support system with similar experiences. “It’s kind of like a club,” she noted. “It’s  s—ty club and we don’t want any new members … and all the current members are kind of exhausted. But man, oh man, it’s lifesaving to have [them].”

Michelle Williams Vanity Fair
Michelle Williams on the cover of Vanity Fair Courtesy of Vanity Fair

Related: Heath Ledger’s Best Onscreen Moments to Rewatch on the 10-Year Anniversary of His Death

Williams has since moved on with musician Phil Elverum — and revealed to Vanity Fair that they secretly tied the knot. “I never gave up on love,” she said. “I always say to Matilda, ‘Your dad loved me before anybody thought I was talented, or pretty, or had nice clothes.’”

She added: “Obviously I’ve never once in my life talked about a relationship, but Phil isn’t anyone else. And it’s worth something.”

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