Michelle Williams on sex, crimes and Tina Knowles’ wrath
You must forgive her father. A jilted ex-lover is hungry for Michelle Williams’ blood in “Wrath: A Seven Deadly Sins Story,” which she co-wrote with Beyoncé Knowles and Kelly Rowland.
Williams plays single lawyer Chastity Jeffries, who is focused on her job and becoming a partner in her legal company until she meets someone who seems to be the ideal boyfriend.
Xavier Collins is portrayed by 44-year-old Canadian actor Antonio Cupo. Then a sensual shower scene hooks Chastity. An intense flame ignites a passionate spark.
Tina Knowles, 68, portrays Chastity’s mother Sarah in “Wrath: A Seven Deadly Sins Story,” based on Victoria Christopher Murray’s novels. Meanwhile, “Growing Up Hip Hop” alum Romeo Miller (aka Lil’ Romeo) plays Chastity’s childhood sweetheart Roger Thompkins.
The Post spoke with her about her new film, which premieres Saturday, April 16 at 8 p.m. EST, working with Mama Knowles, and a prospective Destiny’s Child reunion.
Your character is a successful businesswoman who is focused on her work. Did you connect to Chastity and see any similarities in your lives?
Absolutely. I’m single now. In many respects, I identified with her. You are spot on about desiring and yearning for love. You may not make the best romantic choices, but you do well in your job. How many ladies can relate? You’re doing well in your job, but not so well in love.
What was it like working with Tina Knowles, who portrays your mother Sarah?
It was wonderful working with Miss Tina, who has been my mother, nurturer, and guardian for 22 years. So when we came on set, we simply looked each other in the eye and did what we do. Miss Tina had to soothe me like a mother at times in my life. She had to advise me like a mother. So when they mentioned her name, and I was asked to make the movie, she was the reason I said yes. We knew it would be fun to do this just by mentioning one other’s names.
Did you meet Beyoncé’s mum Tina during filming?
“Yo, mom is killing it!” I texted Beyoncé and Kelly. It was a thrill to have a sisterhood [and] friendship after all these years.
You, Kelly, and Beyoncé have unmistakable chemistry. Why do you believe Destiny’s Child’s chemistry and sisterhood lasted so long?
True love, I’d say. So, I saw Beyoncé the other day and I went in and we both had on the same shoes, pants, and shirt. “Are y’all planning to perform or do something?” asked her companion. It’s common. Recall her “Lion King” debut a few years ago. We didn’t mean to be dressed in the same colors, yet we are eternally linked.
Is a Destiny’s Child reunion possible?
I wonder whether we think about it but never say it. It will automatically come up in conversation when the moment is perfect. We have a good time when we work together in that capacity. I don’t believe we’re against it. Just when is the best time? We haven’t released an official record together in 17 years, so being asked these things now is very wonderful. It makes me think about the influence we must have had on the globe.
Listen, I had to learn karate. There were pros surrounding us to help us accomplish our job. I’ve only ever fought once. Except for the rare dispute with my biological sister — not me and Kelly, my singing sisters have never fought. But I remember arguing during Vacation Bible School. Who were we to fight in church? That was my only conflict. But I keep out of problems since security is paid to perform their job. Thankfully, security has never had to beat anybody up.
“Only six more terrible sins to conquer,” Chastity exclaims in “Wrath.” Whom does Michelle Williams still have to forgive?
I’d say pride since pride sneaks up on you. “Oh, I’m proud of myself.” It’s even how you pronounce it. When you speak, where are you seated? Supposing you have more experience and believe your method is better? “I’m very sorry,” I said a few weeks ago. I think I let my dignity slip.” It’s possible that with age comes the ability to identify and apologize for some things or how you phrase something. Sometimes it’s only the way you say it or where you say it. Pride is the start. It comes before the fall, therefore I must curb my pride.
Speaking of falls, you were renowned for tripping during a “106 and Park” performance. Did you anticipate that moment to become a strong female empowerment meme/GIF?
It’s been 18 years. You fall and rise again. Nobody is perfect. You’ll make mistakes. Some slide down but make it synonymous with times you failed in a relationship, profession, or opportunity, but you found a way to learn from it, corrected it, and got back up and nailed it.
Your film co-star is Romeo. How did you work with Romeo? Did you know him before?
Working with Romeo was a joy. Not Lil’ Romeo anymore. [laughs]. So I had to get rid of it. He grew. He’s 18. Worked well with him. He’s so sure of himself and his religion. So it was a great joy to work together.
What do you hope viewers take away from “Wrath”?
Be alert and reflective. Listen to your gut, soul, or intuition. No doubt Chastity was blinded by love or his man parts when so many red flags sprang up. How many of us have been blinded by desire and how those red flags seem like Six Flags! OK! Or you disregard the red signals because you think it’s just a bad day, but it’s a trend. Get out if you can. But my heart aches for those who didn’t survive because of love or what they believed was love.
Will you be doing any more acting?
I’d love to. I adore Broadway, but I want to pursue more film and TV.