Michelle Williams Recalls When Jeremy Strong Moved in with Her After Heath Ledger's Death

"Jeremy [Strong] was serious enough to hold the weight of a child's broken heart," Michelle Williams says of daughter Matilda after Heath Ledger's death

Michelle Williams is reflecting on how longtime friend Jeremy Strong made a difference in her and her now-16-year-old daughter Matilda's lives after the death of Matilda's father, Heath Ledger.

In a new interview with Variety, the 41-year-old actress recalls Strong, 43, moving in with her and her daughter after Ledger — whom Williams had been separated from at the time — died following an accidental overdose of sleeping pills in January 2008, at age 28.

"Jeremy was serious enough to hold the weight of a child's broken heart and sensitive enough to understand how to approach her through play and games and silliness," Williams told the outlet.

According to Variety, Strong moved into Williams and Matilda's home alongside the actress's sister and another friend of Williams'.

Heath Ledger, Michelle Williams, Jeremy Strong
From left: Heath Ledger, Michelle Williams, Jeremy Strong. Sean Gallup/Getty; Kevin Mazur/Getty; Arturo Holmes/WireImage

While Matilda, who was just 2 years old at the time of Ledger's death, "didn't grow up with her father," Williams said, "she grew up with her Jeremy and we were changed by his ability to play as though his life depended upon it, because hers did."

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Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams. Chris Polk/FilmMagic

In the profile, Williams celebrated Strong's recent successes: the actor has won several awards, including an Emmy, for his role in Succession, as well as a Screen Actors Guild Award for The Trial of the Chicago 7).

The actress also revealed she's preparing to welcome her third child — her second with husband Thomas Kail, with whom she also shares son Hart, born in 2020 — this fall.

"It's totally joyous," The Greatest Showman actress told Variety. "As the years go on, you sort of wonder what they might hold for you or not hold for you. It's exciting to discover that something you want again and again, is available one more time. That good fortune is not lost on me or my family,"

Williams added about becoming a mom again during the COVID-19 pandemic, "It was a reminder that life goes on. The world we brought a baby into is not the world we thought we were bringing a baby into, but the baby is ignorant of that. He experiences the unmitigated joy of discovery and the happiness of a loving home."

"There's nothing that makes you committed to a better world than raising a great kid. It's the ultimate creative act," she said. "The most ecstatic moments of life and art are the transcendent ones. Having children is like that. You combine your DNA with someone else to create a new life."

RELATED VIDEO: Michelle Williams Says She Was "Inconsolable" After Moving Away from Shared Home with Heath Ledger

The four-time Academy Award nominee also told Variety that she plans to take a break from acting during her pregnancy: "I wondered if I could work while I was pregnant, but I'm too tired."

Williams and Kail, 44, previously worked together on the series Fosse/Verdon, for which Williams won numerous accolades, including a 2020 SAG Award. In her acceptance speech at the time, the then-expectant mother gave a sweet shout out to the director, who was also at the event, as well as her daughter.

"Tommy, like everything else in our life, I share this [award] with you," she said. "And Matilda, it's one thing to be completely honest as an actor — it's another thing to be completely honest as a human being. And that's just who you are and how you live, and you teach me just by being you."

Williams has previously been candid about finding love after Ledger's death. "I never gave up on love," the former Dawson's Creek star told Vanity Fair back in 2018. "I always say to Matilda, 'Your dad loved me before anybody thought I was talented or pretty or had nice clothes.' "

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