Michelle Williams Recalls 'Loneliness,' Gives Shout-Out to Daughter in SAG Award Acceptance Speech

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michelle williams wins at sag awards 2020
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Michelle Williams has done it again!

The 39-year-old actress took home the Screen Actors Guild award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series at the 26th annual ceremony on Sunday.

Williams, who nabbed the honor for her work on Fosse/Verdon, was up against Patricia Arquette (The Act), Toni Collette (Unbelievable), Joey King (The Act), and Emily Watson (Chernobyl) for the honor. In her acceptance speech, she opened up about the lessons she learned about "loneliness" from Ben Kingsley. 

"When I was 12, in between extra work and the occasional infomercial, I mystifyingly had the good fortune to be in a movie with Sir Ben Kingsley and he said something to me that I still think about. He said, 'I don't like to act, it's very lonely. I like to react.' And I know I've felt that loneliness. We've all felt that loneliness," Williams began. 

"Sometimes you're in a scene and you're doing a monologue or sometimes you're in a scene with somebody else but you feel like you're doing a monologue. Or sometimes you're acting with someone and their ego, which is very lonely. And sometimes you're acting with a dog. And sometimes you get so damn lucky that you find yourself opposite Sam Rockwell," she continued. "Sam, I found Gwen by looking at Bob. There he was, looking back at me, always telling me the truth and in exquisite detail. I could believe that I was Gwen because I knew that you were Bob."

"Incidentally, I got to work with Sir Ben one more time, 15 years later, and I was playing a ghost, and he asked me how that was going for me, and he remarked on the inherent loneliness of the character. He said that he himself would never play a ghost again because it's very difficult for an actor. You never know where on Earth you're coming from, or where the hell you're going to. And I never felt like that thanks to Nicole Fosse, the constancy of our crew, our writers, our dance team, our music team," Williams said.

She concluded: "Tommy, like everything else in our life, I share this with you, 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. I love you, and I'm coming home. Thank you."

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Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for Turner

Williams won the comparable honor at the 2020 Golden Globes earlier this month, where she used her acceptance speech to passionately discuss a woman's right to choose.

"I know my choices might look different than yours, but thank God or whomever you pray to that we live in a country founded on the principle that I am free to live by my faith and you are free to live yours," she said. "So women 18 to 118, when it is time to vote, please do so in your own self-interest. It's what men have been doing for years."

"Which is why the world looks so much like them. Don't forget, we are the largest voting body in this country," she continued. "Let's make it look more like us."

Likewise, when Williams won in the same category at the 2019 Emmy Awards in September, she used her acceptance speech to call attention to pay inequality. Following her speech, Williams told ET why she wanted to speak about the topic.

"You know, when you're sitting there, you're like, 'Win or lose, it doesn't really change anything,'" she said at the time. "Part of me wanted to win just because I wanted to be able to talk about pay equality. And not about what it's like for me because I have it so much better than so many, but I really wanted to be able to talk about what it was like for most women."

"It's been the great privilege of my lifetime to sort of find myself as the spokesperson for pay inequity," she added. 

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