Michelle Williams Says Being on Dawson's Creek Was Like Working a Factory Job: 'It Was Formulaic'
Michelle Williams starred as "Jen Lindley" on the WB drama from 1998-2003
The actress, who played the role of “Jen Lindley” on Dawson’s Creek for five years, recently appeared on Variety’s Actors on Actors chat, where she opened up about the difficulties of working on the WB drama and why it hindered her interest in future television projects.
“It was a very different kind of television. We did 22 episodes a year, you’d be getting scripts sort of at the last minute and you had like zero input,” Williams, 38, admitted. “That was hard, it was a little bit like a factory job. It was formulaic.”
Though the actress referred to her time on Dawson’s Creek as “an incredible learning experience” and “very formative,” she acknowledged that she wasn’t “yearning to repeat” another project like it once the show ended because she “didn’t want to be told what to do.”
“I don’t think I’ve done television in between then and now because of a fear of loss of input,” she shared.
Instead of acting in television shows, Williams immersed herself in projects on the big screen, including Brokeback Mountain in 2005 and Shutter Island in 2010.
A few years later, Williams earned the 2012 Golden Globe award for best actress for her role as Marilyn Monroe in My Week With Marilyn. She then went on to star in critically-acclaimed Manchester by the Sea in 2016, as well as The Greatest Showman in 2017.
Her perspective on television changed, however, when she was recently approached to do FX’s Fosse/Verdon with Oscar-winning actor Sam Rockwell.
“People had been saying for a long time, ‘Television is different now,’ and I could see that that was true and it was something that I should open myself up to,” Williams revealed in Variety‘s chat.
“When this came along with Sammy — ol’ Sam Rockwell — I’ve always wanted to work with him,” continued the New York-based actress, who plays Gwen Verdon in the mini-series.
“It was him and it was [executive producer and director] Tommy Kail and it was all these New Yorkers and at home, I said ‘Okay, I want to try it again,'” she recalled.
Despite not always being fond of her time on the series, Williams has still maintained friendships with her former costars — so much so that they even have a group chat together, according to Monroe.
“We’re all in a group text… We reconnected and now we have a group text going again, so that’s been nice,” Monroe revealed during the cast’s reunion for Entertainment Weekly‘s 20th-anniversary cover shoot.
During the reunion, Williams spoke to Dawson’s Creek‘s impact and praised the series for connecting with fans during their “formative years.”
“When you’re so permeable and open and trying to figure out who you are and what’s going on, whatever reaches you in those moments really becomes part of you,” she told EW.
And while fans have hoped that a series reboot may be in their future, Williams isn’t so sure she’ll be included if things ever came to fruition.
“I died,” the Oscar nominee told hosts on the Today show. “I would have to come back as a ghost — or put a lot of filters on the camera, and I’ll do flashback scenes.”