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Michelle Williams Reveals Kenneth Lonergan Cried His Eyes Out on the Set of Manchester by the Sea

Louis Vuitton Presents A Special Screening Of
Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Louis Vuitton

Michelle Williams knows that you’re probably going to get a little weepy when watching Manchester by the Sea — after all, she armed her own mother with a handful of Kleenex before sending her in to see the film this weekend. (“I was like, ‘You’re going to need it.’”) But what the actress didn’t anticipate was making the director of the film cry whenever she had a difficult scene to shoot.

At a screening presented by Louis Vuitton on Sunday, the actress told Vulture that she could hear Kenneth Lonergan crying when he called, “Cut!” “He had tears in his voice,” Williams said. “Through tears, he would just say, ‘Keep going, keep going, keep going.’ And that’s the first time in my life that’s ever happened! I never heard a director cry from behind the monitor before! I sort of couldn’t believe it.” Williams said Lonergan’s tears showed her that he could see the characters he created as people, that he could feel their grief and loss. “I feel like he was inside there with us,” she explained. “I feel like he was crying with me. I feel like he was crying Randi’s tears.”

Just in case anyone feels like crying Randi’s tears, too, Williams has a suggestion for the marketing team for the notoriously sad film — get a sponsorship deal with Kleenex (or “an off-brand that’s looking to make their name in the nose-wiping arena”).“Kleenex presents Manchester by the Sea!” she laughed. “They should put them in all the seats. We could send Kleenex boxes to everybody. I could be the Kleenex girl.”

Even Lonergan Cried at Manchester by the Sea