Michelle Williams doesn’t want to get Jeremy Stronged. Williams called writer Brent Lang back a week after her initial interview cover story for Variety saying that she was “worried that when she talked about acting, she came across as too self-serious,” aware of reactions to Strong’s acting process when he spoke about it to the New Yorker. Tons of actors and filmmakers rushed to the Succession star’s defense after he got hoisted by his own actorly petard in the profile, but Williams has a crucial addition to the Strong Reputation Defense Fund: When her partner Heath Ledger died, Strong moved into her house and spent hours letting her daughter Matilda “ride on his back, pretending that he was a pony.”
“Jeremy was serious enough to hold the weight of a child’s broken heart and sensitive enough to understand how to approach her through play and games and silliness,” Williams, who also announces her pregnancy in this interview, told Variety. “[Matilda] didn’t grow up with her father, but she grew up with her Jeremy and we were changed by his ability to play as though his life depended upon it, because hers did.”
This is a very touching anecdote about Strong’s role in providing comfort to a grieving family after a terrible tragedy … but it also sort of confirms his all-in method-actor vibes, doesn’t it? To “play as though his life depended upon it” is another way to describe what he was doing on the Succession set. Making horseplay intense just proves that Strong can use his powers for good.
This story has been updated.