From early roles in such films as “An American Carol” to her series work on shows like “Mad Men”, it’s easy to see why actress Christy Williams’ star is on the rise. The beautiful Williams can currently be seen as the tough call girl, Michelle in the Showtime original series, “Ray Donovan”.
Currently airing its third season, the crime drama follows the story of Ray Donovan (Liev Schreiber), who works for a powerful law firm representing the rich and famous. Donovan is what’s known as a “fixer”. Slang for a person who arranges bribes and payoffs for corrupt police and government officials in order to avoid criminal punishment. The show also stars legendary actor Jon Voight and Eddie Marsan.
Williams’ character has been through quite a lot. Getting lured into doing business with Voight’s character, Mickey Donovan. Over the course of the new season, fans will see more of Michelle’s inner struggle as she tries to keep her independence when she falls for one of the Donovan boys.
I recently spoke with Williams about her role on “Ray Donovan”, her career and more in this exclusive interview.
James Wood: How did this project come about for you?
Christy Williams: Shortly after my manager had gotten me the audition I went in and met the casting director, sent over my tape and booked the role. It was a really quick turnaround. It was originally only supposed to be for one episode but the response was so good that they kept bringing me back. It’s been a fun, whirlwind experience and very exciting!
JW: What was it that first attracted you to the role?
CW: I remember when I first read the script I was really excited about the challenge. I’ve never played that kind of character before and decided to just go for it. But the most exciting thing for me was getting the chance to work with Jon Voight, who I’m a huge fan of. He is the consummate artist and professional.
JW: What can you tell me about your character, Michelle?
CW: Michelle has been around the block. She’s a hooker but she’s also tough. She’s very independent and knows that this is a lifestyle that she’s chosen to make. Later in on the season you’ll get to see more of her inner struggle.
JW: What’s the chemistry like on set?
CW: The cast and crew and everyone on set is so lovely. From the prop people to the makeup artists, everyone is so professional and has so much joy working on the show. I feel really lucky getting to observe, work and be in scenes with such huge talents as Jon Voight, Eddie Marsan and Liev Schreiber. I’ve learned a lot from all of them. It’s a special experience and so much fun to be a part of.
JW: Did you always know that you wanted a career in entertainment?
CW: In the back of my mind I think I always knew. From the first time I did a play as a kid it was like duck to water. I felt like I completely belonged in that world. It was something that I was really good at and I’m thrilled that I’m able to do it for a living.
JW: Is there a bit of advice you can give to young actors?
CW: It may look like a lot of glamour but it’s also a lot of work. Focus on being the best you can be and working on your craft. Be positive and work hard. It’s a stamina game at the end of the day. The biggest thing I’ve learned is that patience is invaluable. You have to keep going and eventually it will all pay off!
JW: Are there any other projects you’re currently working on?
CW: I have a few independent films in the works that should be out next year and a few other projects brewing that I can’t talk about just yet. Right now, I’m focused on finishing out this season of “Ray Donovan”. There’s going to be some fun stuff coming so keep your eyes open. You’ll be seeing a lot more of Michelle!
JW: What excites you the most about the future and the next phase of your career?
CW: There’s so much good television going on right now and I’m excited to be a part of it. I’m also looking forward to collaborating with more amazing talent in the future. It’s a really exciting time!
Be sure to check out Christy Williams on Showtime’s original series, ‘Ray Donovan’