Well here’s an interestingly timed new couple alert. So much to unpack here but let’s start with when and how. PEOPLE.com broke the news last night that Michelle Williams and Thomas Kail are engaged and she’s pregnant with their first child.
We can all agree that that photo was staged, right? They weren’t just walking down the street somewhere in London and a paparazzo happened upon them gazing at each other like that and got the money shot, right? PEOPLE is the safest outlet to place this story because in exchange for the exclusive, they’re obviously not exploring some of the other questions – like the timeline. We’ll come back to that in a minute. For now we’re focusing on the rollout: just before New Year’s Eve when fewer people are paying attention, so that the headline is out there but makes less of an impact because everyone’s trying to get through the emotions of the next few days as we close out the year and the decade. But also…just a few days before the Golden Globes. And that’s where things get interesting.
Michelle and Thomas worked together on Fosse/Verdon. She’s nominated for her performance and the series is nominated in the Best Limited Series category. Thomas co-created the show and directed the most episodes; he’s as much of a nominee as she is. So they’ll both be there, which could explain why they decided to make the announcement now – so they’re not breaking the news that they’re a couple that night. I mean, it’s still going to be pretty fresh but now, if they show up together and pose together on the carpet, her pregnancy obvious, it doesn’t totally feel like it came out of nowhere. But wait… does that mean Busy Philipps won’t be her Golden Globes date? As nominees both, technically Michelle and Thomas can each bring a plus one. Busy could totally take a ticket and Thomas would still have a seat.
Speaking of Fosse/Verdon though, well, the timing. In July 2018, Michelle confirmed on the cover of Vanity Fair that she’d married musician Phil Elverum. This was a surprise to the public – as we’ve seen, Michelle knows how to keep her sh-t tight. Remember, I kept calling that summer the summer of the Fast Flame: “Fast flames flame out fast, fast flames weren’t meant to last™”? Three months later, Michelle started shooting Fosse/Verdon. Production began in November-ish of 2018 and ran until March-ish 2019. Just one month later, on a Friday, using a classic move from the old school celebrity playbook, Michelle announced that she and Phil were over.
And now we’re learning that she and Thomas are in love, engaged, and expecting. According to PEOPLE’s source, Michelle’s daughter, Matilda, “played matchmaker”. LOL, seriously? How is her teenage daughter playing matchmaker when she worked with him for several months – and not just casually but probably rather intimately, as he developed Fosse/Verdon and directed most of the episodes?! Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon are the matchmakers. Art and life all mingled together. It’s so very Fosse/Verdon, non?
But there’s another layer to the (possible, probable) overlap in their romantic timeline. When Michelle was married to Phil Elverum, Thomas was married to actress Angela Christian. Here they are last December at the Kennedy Centre Honours where Thomas was recognised for his work in Hamilton.
There’s some math happening here then, right? Controlled math. Because whatever the timeline, Michelle Williams got ahead of her story – just like it was with her marriage to Phil Elverum, nobody knew about this, no outlet had gotten close enough to it to break it. She broke her own story and, in doing so, if there is tricky math here, that’s not how it’s being presented right out of the gate, on a slow week, when people aren’t paying as much attention. And then she shows up on the carpet on Sunday night and that’ll be a new story. She’s the favourite to win in her category considering she won the Emmy back in September. You’ll recall, her Emmys acceptance speech was the best of the night. Looking forward to watching the follow-up.