By Jonathan Borge
Sep 13, 2016 @ 1:30 pm

Manchester by the Sea star Michelle Williams has been dazzling team InStyle all week long at the 2016 Toronto Film Festival, where she most recently offered a fantastical approach to red carpet dressing in a white asymmetrical Louis Vuitton design. But was the 36-year-old camera darling always prepared to shine in the fashion spotlight? Not quite.

In fact, as Williams told us in our exclusive InStyle/People/Entertainment Weekly portrait studio, dressing for A-list events wasn’t always a walk in the park. “I found this picture recently and it’s of, like, some school dance or something that I went to and I look so bad, but I put it in my wallet and I carry it around with me because I have, like, so much sympathy for that girl,” she charmingly tells us in the video above.

“And that’s kind of probably what I look like at, you know, maybe the first red carpet that I went to—just really, really out of my depths,” she adds. “I like feeling like I’ve grown up. I like having acceptance for both ways of being, but wow, I mean, those early red carpets were—I sort of look like I’m, you know when you see like a deer on the highway or something? And it’s just sort of like poked out of the forest like, ‘What? Wear am I? What’s going on? This doesn’t look—I’m not supposed to be here.’”

Rough beginnings aside, someone has definitely come into her own. Watch the full video above to see her dish on her evolved style.