mayjailer (mayjailer) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,
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ohnotheydidnt

How Michelle Williams Mastered (and Pretended to Lose) Gwen Verdon's Voice


The FX limited series Fosse/Verdon came to an end Tuesday night, and in a new interview star Michelle Williams spoke to Vulture about how she mastered (and pretended to lose) the voice of Gwen Verdon, choreographer/director Bob Fosse's often unsung better half.

Two months prior to shooting the series, Williams began working with Juilliard voice teacher Deborah Hecht three to four times a week in order to hone Verdon's "theatrical, mid-century, pseudo mid-Atlantic lilt." According to Williams, getting it right required that she "hold [her] mouth in a different place, and move [her] tongue and [her] lips more than [she] normally [does]."

• Given the amount of ground covered by the series (approximately 30 years), Williams worked hard to make her performance age with the character, referencing key interviews from each decade of Verdon's life.



Williams was also able to draw from the memories of series co-executive producer Nicole Fosse, daughter of the eponymous duo. It was Fosse who recalled her mother "[accentuating] odd words" (e.g. instead of calling Verdon’s star vehicle NEW Girl in Town, she called it New GIRL in Town).

For the scene in the series penultimate episode, however, where Verdon lays into Fosse over the phone while on strict vocal rest, Williams had to get creative: "I had been experimenting for a couple of weeks, privately, with what I thought it might sound like. And then on the day, I took it out of my little box and I asked [director] Tommy Kail if it was okay. [...] It was just pure imagination."




Source 1, 2, 3

Did anyone else watch the series? Thoughts?
Tags: interview, michelle williams, television - fx
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