Michelle Williams Says Working on 'Dawson's Creek' Felt Like a 'Factory Job'

Michelle Williams

There's a reason Michelle Williams hasn't returned to TV until now. 

The 38-year-old actress stars as Gwen Verdon in FX's new drama series, Fosse/Verdon, and admits to Patricia Clarkson, who worked with her in the 2003 film The Station Agent, that she was apprehensive about starring in another television show after portraying Jen Lindley in Dawson's Creek from 1998 to 2003.

"I must have still been doing Dawson’s Creek when we did The Station Agent," she recalls to Clarkson during a discussion for Variety. "Doing Dawson’s Creek for six-and-a-half years, while it was an incredible learning experience -- we did 22 episodes a year, and you’d be getting scripts at the last minute and you had zero input. It was a little like a factory job."

Williams adds, "It was formulaic."

Dawson's Creek Cast

Kerr Smith, Joshua Jackson, Michelle Williams, James Van Der Beek and Katie Holmes celebrate the 100th episode of 'Dawson's Creek' in New York City on Feb.19, 2002.

Evan Agostini/ImageDirect

The four-time Oscar nominee says it was because of her time on the coming-of-age series that kept her from the small screen. "I don’t think I’ve done television in between then and now because of a fear of loss of input," she explains. "When this came around, people had been saying for a long time, 'Television is different now.' And I could see that that was true and that it was something that I should open myself up to."

Williams continues, "It’s the great advantage of aging, that we actually get more facility with the thing that we do."

While the actress enjoyed her time on Fosse/Verdon, she admitted to ET that playing the real-life role of Gwen Verdon over her lifetime was "a lot."

"I mean, you start researching as soon as you get the part. There's like one good moment when you get the job and then the panic sets in and you go to work," Williams shared. "...It was physical in not just the dancing, but in aging and figuring out how to physically change somebody from 29 up to 64 -- figuring out how that would affect their body."


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