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Michelle Williams on Becoming Gwen Verdon: ‘I Had to Start Meditating’

Michelle Williams is dancing her way into another leading role with FX’s “Fosse/Verdon.”

At the New York premiere on Monday night, the actress told Variety it took more than dance lessons to get ready to play Broadway legend Gwen Verdon.

“It’s going to sound weird, but I had to start meditating. I had to become a bigger person in order to play her. I needed to expand my consciousness to be able to grasp her,” she said. “There was all kinds of stuff in terms of research and physical preparation and the reading and the watching and the listening and like this constant sort of studying, but I also had to grow my whole my mind.”

The four-time Oscar nominee’s pairing with co-star Sam Rockwell brings to television the story of trailblazing choreographer Bob Fosse and his creative collaborator wife.

“We really love each other. We had never worked together before, but we are the same,” Williams said. “Both he and I have been working the streets of New York for the last 25 years doing Off Broadway and all this stuff. We come from a similar world. I really respect his work ethic, his integrity and his heart. He is my brother.”

Norbert Leo Butz, who plays playwright Paddy Chayefsky in the series, says the drama shows how standards for women are changing for the better.

“We are in this place right now where we are having this radical sort of shift on the conversation about gender and equality,” he said. “This is a really cool thing of looking at how women in this industry have grown.”

Also on the carpet were director Thomas Kail and cast members including Margaret Qualley, Aya Cash, Evan Handler, Paul Reiser, Christiane Seidel, Kelli Barrett, and Bianca Marroquin.

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