Michelle is interviewed by Vendela Vida for a May 2011 cover story in Interview magazine. She talks about Meek’s Cutoff, Blue Valentine, and more. The magazine hit newsstands in New York and L.A. yesterday and will be available nationwide on May 3. Thanks to Kelly and Laron for sending me the info and some photos. I will have scans up soon!
VIDA: Let’s talk a little bit about Meek’s Cutoff, which is the second film you’ve done with director Kelly Reichardt—the first being Wendy and Lucy. I was wondering what it was like to work on more than one film with the same director. Do you feel because you’ve spent so much time together at this point that you have kind of a shorthand when working together?
WILLIAMS: You know the safety you feel when a man asks you to marry him?
VIDA: Mm-hmm . . .
WILLIAMS: It felt like she doesn’t just want to date me. She wants to marry me.
VIDA: Did you know from the beginning that you’d be doing two films with her?
WILLIAMS: No, I had no idea. One day she came over to our house in Brooklyn with a manila envelope, and said she had something special to give me. So we walked upstairs and sat on my bed, and she handed me the first draft of Meek’s. It really is one of the top five favorite moments of my life—it’s right up there. Because I wasn’t expecting it. And I wanted it. I hope to make movies with her for a long time to come. So I guess at this point, knowing Kelly has been like an education in film. Not that she’s ever tried to teach me, but just sort of by osmosis, and being her friend, and understanding what she likes, and having her reference movies, and then going and finding them myself, I feel at this point I know how to fill her frame. I know what she wants. I know what she’s into. I know what her taste is. There are limitations when you work with Kelly. There’s a very specific style that she’s after. But in those confines you can actually find so much freedom because of the specificity.