Back in January, shortly after it was revealed that Michelle Williams was basically paid nothing in comparison to what Marky Mark Wahlberg made for the All the Money in the World reshoots, US Weekly reported that she was engaged. To Andrew Youmans. Michelle Williams covers the new issue of Vanity Fair. She has confirmed that she is married. Not to Andrew Youmans. I f-cking love this so much. Both that she’s married and clearly blissed out but also that she gamed it like a boss. Because US Weekly had it wrong. And instead of correcting the report, she just went about her business, fell in love with someone else, and announced on her own time that, oh hey, guess what, I got married less than a month ago in the Adirondacks, to musician Phil Elverum.
It’s the summer of quick romance, holy sh-t! Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson, Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin, and now Michelle and Phil. So… is Michelle’s situation a case of “Fast flames flame out fast, fast flames weren’t meant to last™”? I don’t think it’s the same. To begin with, both Michelle and Phil have children. Matilda Ledger is almost a teenager now. Phil’s daughter is 3 years old. Both were at the wedding. And both of these girls have suffered tremendous loss. Phil’s wife, Genevieve Castrée died of cancer in 2016. I want to believe that these two aren’t making fast flame decisions when they have their daughters to consider.
And Michelle has certainly dated since Heath Ledger died. But, as she tells Vanity Fair, she was waiting, waiting for the next great love of her life. Now that she’s found it, she actually wants to talk about it.
“I never gave up on love,” she later tells me, saying that she has spent the 10 years since Ledger’s death looking for the kind of “radical acceptance” she felt from him. “I always say to Matilda, ‘Your dad loved me before anybody thought I was talented, or pretty, or had nice clothes.’ ” I can hear her voice crack. She sometimes can’t believe that she’s found this kind of love, at last. “Obviously I’ve never once in my life talked about a relationship,” she says, “but Phil isn’t anyone else. And that’s worth something. Ultimately the way he loves me is the way I want to live my life on the whole. I work to be free inside of the moment. I parent to let Matilda feel free to be herself, and I am finally loved by someone who makes me feel free.”
There’s also another reason she’s sharing though. It’s hope.
“I don’t really want to talk about any of it. But there’s that tease, that lure, that’s like, ‘What if this helps somebody? What if somebody who has always journeyed in this way, who has struggled as much as I struggled, and looked as much as I looked, finds something that helps them?’ Don’t settle. Don’t settle for something that feels like a prison, or is hard, or hurts you. If it doesn’t feel like love, it’s not love.”
There is so much more to unpack about this interview. So much WORK to unpack. We’ll get to that in a separate post tomorrow. Because, ahem, I had a theory and I WAS RIGHT. And I kinda want to give that equal shine.
For now though, can we appreciate this cover? Busy Philipps appreciates it:
Here’s why I love it though: because the big headline is about love and instead of using a shot of her with wind in her hair and the ocean breeze tickling her sun-kissed skin, the way women are “supposed” to look when they’re in love, Michelle’s over here with the most neutral of expressions, all business, not playing to that image. So good, right?