One of Marvel’s greatest and most complex characters takes center stage as Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) becomes the host for the alien symbiote Venom.
As a journalist, Eddie has been trying to take down the notorious founder of the Life Foundation, genius Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) – and that obsession ruined his career and his relationship with his girlfriend, Anne Weying (Michelle Williams).
Upon investigating one of Drake’s experiments, the alien Venom merges with Eddie’s body, and he suddenly has incredible new superpowers, as well as the chance to do just about whatever he wants. Twisted, dark, unpredictable, and fueled by rage, Venom leaves Eddie wrestling to control dangerous abilities that he also finds empowering and intoxicating.
We caught up with Michelle Williams to talk her role as Anne Weying, working with Tom Hardy and suiting up as She-Venom.
The Knockturnal: So Venom is an unlikely choice for you. What about the script made you say yes?
Michelle Williams: Lots of things. It’s always a combination of how much something works for you, how much something works for your family, if it works creatively or if it works financially. I’m always trying to hit two of those boxes. You never really get three. But this has so much going for it. It’s shot in Atlanta, which is close enough. It’s a direct flight, and I could come in and out. My daughter could stay in school and I wouldn’t have to miss too much time with her, and those things really matter to me. And then combining that with being able to work with Tom, who’s an actor of unparalleled ability, to make whatever he’s doing, no matter how supernatural it is, feel grounded and authentic … I knew that he would sort of level the room. No matter what Venom was doing or how crazy things are getting or how comic booky or superhero that you would have this emotional heavyweight in the center of the room.
The Knockturnal: There are so many cool special effects in this film. Talk about acting with that.
Michelle Williams: Yeah, it makes it hard because it’s created in a computer, so you don’t know really what it’s going to be until you see the movie … which I actually haven’t seen it, yet. Yeah, it’s like a whole other set of mad scientists that are busily working away, creating this world for all of these characters to live in.
The Knockturnal: We got to see you suit up as She-Venom for a little bit. Would you be interested in suiting up again as a solo She-Venom possibly?
Michelle Williams: That would be a total dream. The great thing about these characters is that they can inhabit … When I saw Thor I was moved by how Greek it was … this tragedy. The bonds, the familial bonds, they felt so epic. And these movies are a great way to act those archetypes out, so it would totally thrill me to be able to inhabit that role more fully.
The Knockturnal: What did you pick up from Tom Hardy while doing this film?
Michelle Williams: Working with him, we had a lot of fun together. I really like to keep it light, we like to essentially play. It’s a couple of kids in the sandbox who don’t know what they’re gonna say next or where it’s gonna take them and also to entertain each other … to delight each other. You have some sort of responsibility as a scene partner to surprise each other, upend each other, and when it’s over, be able to laugh about what happened and where you wound up. It’s fun. And I really got that a lot from Tom.
The Knockturnal: In the film, we see you in a bit of a love triangle, going back and forth. Talk about the love triangle a little bit.
Michelle Williams: Oh, yes. It’s a really fun relationship too because it’s not really clear-cut. It’s not like this new guy that I’m with is the bad guy or some sort of a dope. There’s a few moments of affection that he and Eddie even have for each other, but she’s really trying to move on from somebody that she loves, but somebody whose moral code she can’t align herself with … even though she still loves him.
The Knockturnal: Your character is a lawyer in the film. Did you do any research with any lawyers prior to doing the part, and did you read any comic books prior to doing it?
Michelle Williams: I didn’t. I saw anything that related to Anne Weying. I looked at, read through, made sure I wasn’t missing anything that was inherent or integral or important to people who are fans. But on a part like this it’s less research, more imagination.
The Knockturnal: If you were to do law in real life, do you know what kind of law you would practice?
Michelle Williams: I’m just thinking about everything that happened today, I would like to do pro bono work.
The Knockturnal: Were you a fan of comic books growing up, and did you have a favorite superhero growing up?
Michelle Williams: I really like the mythology of Thor and I love that movie. And I like the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. I don’t read a lot of comic books, but I get a real kick out of watching the films.
The Knockturnal: Talk about working with director Ruben Fleischer?
Michelle Williams: Yeah, he’s a great guy. It’s so hard to make a movie like this. You’re in command of so many people and a lot of responsibility, and a lot of tension, and he was such a gentle conductor for all of these energies.
The film is now playing!