Michelle Williams Says 'Dawson's Creek''s Grams Was the "First Person" to Take Her Seriously

She has nothing but love for Mary Beth Peil.

Dawson's Creek Cast

Getty Images

Oscar-nominated Michelle Williams can trace her beginning all the way back to the CW where she starred in everyone's favorite bucolic teen drama, Dawson's Creek. And while some actors may want to scrub their early work from the annals of time, Williams recently opened up about how the show and the role of Jen helped her become the actress that she is today. In an interview set to air this weekend on Sunday Today With Willie Geist, she called Mary Beth Peil, who played her character's beloved grandmother, a "stabilizing force" in her early career and someone who exposed her to new worlds and people. 

In a clip shared by Entertainment Weekly, Williams reflected on her time in North Carolina during the show's filming and all of the things that Peil showed her for the first time. "She immediately took me under her wing. I didn't have family there, I didn't have parents that were there and she really filled that role for me," Williams said. She went on to call Piel "the first real artist that I ever met."

"She told me stories about New York City and plays and playwrights. She invited me to come stay with her, she took me places, and she told me about this place where I could go and make a life and have a career and do really fun and exciting work, and she told me that that was possible for me," Williams continued. "Even though I was on like a teen soap opera, she would talk to me about like the future and what that could look like for me."

Dawson's Creek Cast

Getty Images

Williams went on to describe her time on the show, which led her to build a foundation she still carries today — even as she's making feature films and being nominated for Academy Awards. This year, she was up for the Best Actress trophy for her role in The Fablemans.

"It taught me how to be responsible, it taught me how to get to work on time, it taught me how to prepare at night for the next day, it taught me sort of like the basics of how to take care of myself," Williams said of her time on Dawson's Creek.

She also noted that the crew did its best to make sure that she and her co-stars, Joshua Jackson, Katie Holmes, and James Van Der Beek, were far, far away from trouble. "We were in like a very sleepy Southern town and the crew really felt like they looked out for us. They knew how young we were and they kind of put like bumpers around us, just made sure that we were safe and taken care of, that I went to the dentist, things that didn't really come naturally to me. I really appreciate the way that people let us kind of have a childhood honestly."

Related Articles