Michelle Williams talks ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’

Michelle Williams, right, next to James Franco, plays Glinda the Good Witch  in “Oz the Great and  Powerful" Credit: Merie Weismiller Wallace, SMPSP
Michelle Williams, right, next to James Franco, plays Glinda the Good Witch
in “Oz the Great and Powerful”
Credit: Merie Weismiller Wallace, SMPSP

In “Oz the Great and Powerful,” Michelle Williams takes on one of the most iconic screen characters in Hollywood history: Glinda the Good Witch, first seen in the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz.” It’s not her first time tackling an icon — or even an icon popular with drag queens.

“The Wizard of Oz” has been very popular with the drag community. Have you given any thought at all to the idea of drag queens taking on your performance?
Yeah, baby! Yes, yes. Bring it on. I feel like they would, like, put a naughty under the nice. No, I would love to see that. And any chance to amass a bigger gay audience is awesome.

Have you ever seen a drag interpretation of one of your roles?
Marilyn probably doesn’t count, but there’s clearly a lot out there. While I was making [“My Week With Marilyn”] I saw this drag performance of Marilyn on YouTube, and I had to shut it down within 10 seconds because I was like, “That motherf—er is better than me. That motherf—er! I will never match what he’s able to do.” [Laughs] He was just recreating all of her famous numbers to a T. But I can’t imagine many of my other characters. I can’t imagine Wendy from “Wendy and Lucy” is big on the drag circuit.

I could imagine someone out there doing an all-drag “Dawson’s Creek.”
Probably, I could see that. Or maybe like a “Meek’s Cutoff” thing, and it goes a little “Priscilla Queen of the Desert”?

One of of your co-stars said she avoided re-watching “The Wizard of Oz” so as to not be influenced by it. Was it the same for you?
No, I mean, I have a kid, so I’ve watched it a lot. I watched it as a child, and I’ve watched it passively as a grown-up, and I definitely watched it specifically in reference for this. But I also knew at the same time, Sam [Raimi] had been very specific in saying, “You’re not to re-create what you saw in the original.” Both because I think he didn’t feel like it was the right way to go and because it was, like, a rights issue. [Laughs]

It’s oddly refreshing to see you in “Oz,” a movie that’s so …
Happy? [Laughs]

Your films for the last few years have leaned toward the serious and dour, yes. Was this a conscious effort to get something a bit lighter on your filmography?
I mean, I never think, “Now it’s time to do something light.” But I did feel within my own soul, I felt like I’d had the marrow sucked out of me, probably especially with “My Week With Marilyn” just because it was so difficult. The core of who she was was very affecting for me to live inside of, so just personally I was feeling more open to doing something that didn’t come at a personal cost. For me, I never feel like, “Oh, I have so many things to choose from and I just can’t pick. There’s just so many great options.” It’s kind of like desert, desert, desert, desert, oasis! So when that comes along, when I have that feeling from reading a script, whether it’s big or small or light or dark, it’s really more about if I see an outline of a character that I want to fill in.

I’m surprised to hear that you’d have so much of a desert as far as scripts. I’d assume that you’re getting sent all of the best stuff out there.
I haven’t worked since I made this movie. I haven’t worked in over a year. It was a conscious choice, I definitely wanted to take some time off. This was a long movie to make, and I like my life and it takes a lot to take me away from my family. But that choice wasn’t … constantly tested, for better or worse.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.