Michelle Williams Interview: ‘Fosse/Verdon’
“I had no idea how difficult it would be to do this show,” declares Michelle Williams about the FX limited series “Fosse/Verdon,” which has now brought her Emmy Awards nominations for acting and producing. In our recent webchat (watch the exclusive video above), she adds, “You do so many scenes and can never give up. Every single moment of every single take and every single scene, you are just relentless and apply yourself over and over each time as if you’re just beginning.”
Williams hasn’t done much television work since her breakthrough role on “Dawson’s Creek,” which debuted over 20 years ago. Since then she has moved on to a highly successful film career with four Oscar nominations for “Brokeback Mountain” (2005), “Blue Valentine” (2010), “My Week with Marilyn” (2011) and “Manchester by the Sea” (2016).
Her return to TV was as the iconic Broadway star Gwen Verdon this spring opposite Sam Rockwell as director and choreographer Bob Fosse. Discussing the dance numbers she does throughout the seven-part series, she says, “They were all difficult for different reasons. ‘Who’s Got the Pain’ was maybe the most athletic dance. ‘Both Reached for the Gun’ was interesting because it had to be technically so perfect because she was such a great dancer, but it had to display where she was having difficulty…. The dance we did with ‘Razzle Dazzle’ was difficult because she was creating a whole new character. Who is this person?”
Williams is excited that many of the team members of “Fosse/Verdon” will be competing at the Emmy Awards next month. In addition to the series bid and for Williams, nominations went out to Rockwell, supporting actress Margaret Qualley, directors Thomas Kail and Jessica Yu, writing, music, casting, production design, make-up, hair, costumes, editing and sound mixing.
She has already won with the TV Critics Association this weekend. The TCA does not have a limited series performance category, with members grouping in those actors and actresses with drama performers. Williams is only the third person strictly from a limited series — following Paul Giamatti (“John Adams”) and Sarah Paulson (“People v. O.J. Simpson”) — to win that category since the awards began in 1997. Both of them prevailed at the Emmys a few weeks later.