We’ve seen her on TV, in low-budget award winning independent films and can now watch her play an iconic character based on one of the most loved films of all time in Oz the Great and Powerful which opens in theaters everywhere today. The lovely Michelle Williams has been nominated for three Oscars and has etched out a career that enables her to work with the best actors and directors in the business. While she did take a turn to play Glinda in this CGI-filled fantasy adventure film, she enjoys working on films both big and small. Zap 2 it talked to her about how she chooses a project.
I get compelled by the outline of the character on the page and then come hell or high water I’m gonna do it. The thing about it is it doesn’t really happen very often. It’s not like I’m having to choose between all this great material. So when that connection does happen I tend to fall regardless of certain factors like it’s big or it’s small or the director is this or that. I didn’t really entertain the scope of the thing.
Williams isn’t known to work in action films, mostly character-driven dramas. So what was it like for her to be a part of a larger film with more stunt work?
In a way it’s kind of fun. It gets your heart going and there’s a real adrenaline rush from it and a strange sense of pride you derive from rolling down the stairs so many times. It’s weirdly satisfying to do that physical stuff. I don’t know exactly what it is that felt so good about falling down the stairs 12 times. I don’t know why I felt so puffed up when I finally got it right.
When she talked to NBC News, they asked her about the difficulty of working on small films, usually portraying realistic characters and situations and then going to larger productions like Oz with the fantasy element and focus on Glinda having to look and act ‘perfect’.
The attention to superficial beauty really was difficult to overcome and forgive…It’s about creating the illusion of perfection, and perfection is only possible in a still frame. That’s for magazine covers; it’s not something I can achieve as a human being walking through time and space. It involved a lot of forgiveness. I went along with it because I felt it was required of me. It also was difficult to take up space. I’m a person who likes to make themselves as small as possible.
I can’t do something with an outward objective, like doing it for my daughter or doing a comedy instead of drama. It never turns out well when you do things for outside reasons. It has to come from the inside.
Check out Williams in some of her earlier work in chronological order leading up to the Oz trailer.
Oz the Great and Powerful in theaters