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VENOM’s Michelle Williams on the Film’s Biggest Challenges

Venom isn’t your typical superhero film, and not just because it stars a hulking, seven-foot-tall murdermonster with a penchant for devouring human heads like they’re cocktail olives in lieu of a spandex-clad do-gooder. It is not only tasked with launching Sony’s own shared universe of Marvel films, but the actors themselves see the film as an opportunity to redefine the kind of superhero storytelling that’s populating our multiplexes. That is especially true for Michelle Williams, who portrays Anne Weying, an employee of the shadowy Life Foundation and the erstwhile romantic partner of Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy), the hard-nosed journalist who becomes the eponymous symbiotic antihero. It was important to Williams that her character didn’t feel like a relic of the past, but rather emblematic of the times in which we live. Williams has been outspoken in interviews about how she tried to imbue the spirit of the #MeToo movement into her performance, and touched upon this when she spoke with our own Hector Navarro at a recent Los Angeles press day.

“I really wanted this movie to feel like something that couldn’t have been made pre-#MeToo,” Williams said. “I really wanted it to feel like it was a current representation of a woman working in America, which is to say that she feels that there’s equality in their relationship and she loves him…she loves him and doesn’t want to break up with him, but also can’t allow herself to be treated badly, and has enough self-respect and enough belief in what she’s worth that she walks away.”

In their wide-ranging conversation, Williams also touched on the sense of play that she found within herself while tackling some of the film’s more technically demanding sequences.

“You feel like you have to let yourself look foolish in front of an entire crew of people that are watching,” Williams explained. “It’s very technical, but it’s also very open-ended and imaginative. It’s a very particular space to have to find in your own brain. How can I in the midst of all this react to other actors? And you hope that you’re doing something that is grounded in reality and [then you] look up and see a towering monster with sharp teeth.”

She added, “I haven’t had that experience in my own life so.I mean really, some of those days, I would go home and tell my family, ‘Those are some of the hardest days I’ve ever had on a job.’”

Venom is in theaters now. Read our review right here.

Images: Sony

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