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Image: Michelle Williams and Heath Ledger
Mark J. Terrill  /  AP
Actress Michelle Williams said that after her breakup with Heath Ledger, it was work that saved her time and again.
Access Hollywood
updated 3/7/2008 4:13:23 PM ET 2008-03-07T21:13:23

In an interview conducted just days before Heath Ledger’s death in January 2008, Academy Award-nominee Michelle Williams opened up about the pain of their breakup.

The actress moved to Portland, Ore., for a film role following her split with Ledger in 2007. Throwing herself into the role of a woman on the precipice of homeless in "Train Choir" was "a very healing process," Williams told Elle magazine’s April issue.

"(Heath and I) had broken up — way before it became a news story — and I didn’t know where to go. I couldn’t imagine any place in the world that was gonna feel good to me," she told the magazine.

Williams took her daughter with Ledger, Matilda, now 2, to Portland as she took on the part in the Kelly Reichardt directed project.

"Right after we broke up, I said, ‘I gotta go do this thing. It’s going to be the perfect place for me, for Matilda. We just need to go away," Williams said. "We made the best friends in Portland. We lived with people, at their house… I just have the fondest memories of being there and playing this lonely, drifting soul."

In telling words, Williams said throwing herself into her acting work, throughout her life, has been a wondrous gift.

"Whatever I’ve suffered, I feel like the work I get to do is an absolute blessing," she said. "Because whatever I feel inside, it has a place to go. It just saves me over and over again."

Copyright 2013 by NBC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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