In 2009, singer/actress Michelle Williams unleashed an open “Cheat Sheet” letter to HoneyMag.com referencing the Tiger Woods fiasco. Williams made it clear in her message that while she doesn’t approve of cheating, there may be reasons why people take that path. In her new stage play What My Husband Doesn’t Know, Michelle is actually playing the cheater.
The David E. Talbert play, which kicked off a national tour on February 4, co-stars Brian White (Stomp the Yard, Men of a Certain Age), Clifton Davis (Any Given Sunday, Amen), Ann Nesby of Sounds of Blackness and R&B songstress KeKe Wyatt. The tagline “The perfect life for the perfect wife. Or so it seems…” sets the tone for Williams’ character Lena to make some interesting life choices.
Despite global fame from her work with Destiny’s Child, Broadway performances in plays like The Color Purple and her solo recordings, Williams stays humbly grounded in her personal life and career as she further develops her acting talent.
UrbLife.com took a few moments out with Michelle Williams to find out more about her role in What My Husband Doesn’t Know, why Valentine’s Day romance isn’t a priority for her, and what’s next for the vivacious beauty in 2011!
Your play covers the controversial topic of stepping outside a marriage. Tell us a little about the role you are playing. How do you feel about it?
Michelle Williams: It’s a good thing, because I’m only playing the role. I’m not a supporter of cheating, although it happens. You can understand why someone could make that choice.
My character Lena’s husband is an amazing businessman, but he’s constantly on the road. He does things like, forget Lena’s birthday. Every time they get ready to go on a date, something else happens and he has to leave. She just gets tired of that. She has a good girlfriend that comes to the house and keeps her company, but she wants more than that. She wants her husband and he’s never around, so she does what lots of women do. They find it somewhere else.
When you say that it helps you understand cheating, do you feel like sometimes a person that cheats is misunderstood? Does this role help you understand the mentality a little more?
MW: Obviously it’s a misunderstanding; it’s a lack of communication. It doesn’t make it right, but it’s up to that other person who was cheated on to make that decision.
Your character is more lonely, right?
MW: Yeah. Definitely lonely. Her and her husband, when they first got married, they made love every day. Sometimes twice a day. That’s how she got pregnant. So why all of a sudden now? I would say it’s because, the thing in the play she does say, slowly the sex would become less frequent, he’s always gone. He forgot her birthday! How do you forget her birthday?! You could at least have an assistant send her some flowers or something. It’s crazy.
Imagine if your husband forgot your birthday, he and your mom planned your party, but he wasn’t able to fly in. Not once does Lena question his fidelity, because she trusts him. We don’t know were you really at the construction site, but that’s never asked because Franklin is actually taking care of business.
When you hear about cheating, it’s usually the other way around. The woman is at home taking care of business and the man is out.
MW: Actually [in this case] her husband is taking care of business. You do have that man who’s so concerned on providing, bringing that money in even though he’s still rich, but he’s got that champion mentality, I got to do whatever I got to do.
Brian White is in the play and he used to play professional football for the New England Patriots. He was telling me last night that their old coach Bill Parcells told them, “Look, how many of you all have girlfriends?” They waved their hands. He was like, “No. Either you need to wife them or just have friends.” A wife, that secures, but the thing is you don’t realize that they’re always going to be gone, they’re always practicing. Even when they come home from practice they’re going to want to watch film, study that book, and do this.
Men can get so caught up in what they do, that they think that just because you got this big, lavish house and a BMW, diamonds or an Aston Martin, that they’re like, “Shoo fly shoo! I gave you all of this; no I don’t want to watch Real Housewives of Atlanta with you!” Sometimes it’s not even about the sex part. You just want to sit down on the couch, pretzeled up, watching TV.
How hard is for you personally to have a relationship when you travel so much?
MW: That person definitely has to understand, as well as I have to be understanding. I have been dating someone and they’re in the music industry as well, so we understand the on-the-go portion. We try to synchronize our schedules.
What is your ideal Valentine’s Day date?
MW: It’s like with Valentine’s Day, I’ve been such a Grinch! That day rolls around. You all got these men going crazy running around getting flowers and candy. You don’t do that any other time of the year. Let’s go to dinner, let’s do something but geez. I’m honestly not into it.
Do you feel like it’s something that should be expressed on a daily basis?
MW: Yeah absolutely because then when you do send me flowers, I’m going to be like oh my goodness he really means it and it’s just not a holiday. On February 14, trust me I will be expecting some flowers. We just had Christmas, that’s fine. I’m weird.
I will say that last Valentine’s Day was nice. I woke up to cards in every room of the house and flowers. Now, my mother doesn’t play that. She wants the flowers, chocolate, and to be wined and dined.
Do you have any more plays lined up? Are you doing movies? What are your next venture after this?
MW: I’ve been getting some cool scripts and stuff… a possible offer to do another play. This year I might have to concentrate more on the acting. It’s easy to record, especially on my days off. A lot of people have been asking, “When are we going to see you on the TV screen or movie screen?” I would love that!
Also, keep up with the cast’s Tour Diary on YouTube.com/user/wmhdkPromo
What My Husband Doesn’t Know – Opening Night Behind-the-Scenes!