Michelle Williams has closed out 2019 in laudably chaotic fashion: with a surprise engagement and surprise pregnancy announcement involving a man many people have never heard of. The news was revealed in a dignified People exclusive yesterday in which Williams was photographed with said surprise fiancé, Thomas Kail, buying clothes in London for their forthcoming baby. Happy New Year!
If you feel whiplash from simply attempting to process this information, you are not alone. What the People story notably did not mention is that Williams just broke up with her ex-husband, Phil Elverum, of the band Mount Erie, this April after less than a year of being married. Both that engagement and wedding were a surprise that she didn’t disclose until after the fact last summer, when she said some very moving things about Elverum, her daughter Matilda, and the trauma of losing Heath Ledger.
Now to the matters at hand: Who is Thomas Kail? When did he and Michelle Williams meet? What whirlwind is this????
Here are the things we know to be true: Thomas Kail is a Broadway director who collaborated with Lin-Manuel Miranda on both In the Heights and Hamilton, for which he won a Tony Award. (He also directed Grease! Live, it must be said.) Kail and Williams reportedly met on set while working on Fosse/Verdon, the FX show Williams starred in with Sam Rockwell, which Kail directed. Fosse/Verdon was filmed in November 2018 … when both Williams and Kail were still with their respective significant others. Williams was still married to Elverum, and Kail was reportedly married to stage actress Angela Christian from 2016 until sometime in 2019. (I’m guessing it was sometime before Kail and Williams conceived a child?)
Yes, it’s a lot to take in. But the point is that Michelle Williams is going to get a lot of presents in 2020.