Could Blake Lively Be The Next Michelle Williams?

The news that CW starlet Blake Lively would be spending her Gossip Girl hiatus filming the independent film Hick, in which she will play a meth addicted single mother, shockingly came as no big surprise. The young actress has shown a somewhat remarkable ability in choosing smart projects while also balancing her required role as a pretty and promiscuous blond on a network television show. While her cast mates are playing bland boyfriends, 3-D victims and sociopathic college co-eds during their off time, Ms. Lively is quietly, and quickly, establishing herself as a movie star -- much like Michelle Williams.

Now, before anyone makes a fuss about comparing a two-time Oscar nominee to a girl who took on a pair of traveling pants not just once, but twice, look at the evidence.

First, there was her performance alongside heavy hitters Julianne Moore and Alan Alda in Rebecca Miller's The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, in which she played a young Robin Wright, giving the actress some serious cred and experience. That was followed by her somewhat polarizing, but unarguably solid, role in Ben Affleck's The Town. Add to that her part in the upcoming blockbuster The Green Lantern, for which she undoubtedly beat out far bigger and more bankable names, and reports she was on the shortlist for Baz Luhrmann's remake of The Great Gatsby, and you are looking at one impressive resume.

Hick will of course be the true test for Lively, but she has surrounded herself with some pretty amazing company. Recent Tony winner, and upcoming Williams costar in My Week with Marilyn, Eddie Redmayne has just signed on, and the lead role is being played by one of the best actors working in Hollywood these days -- Chloe Moretz. She may only be 14, but in the past year she has wowed critics in Kick-Ass and Let Me In, filmed a 30 Rock guest spot and starred in the small upcoming film Hugo Cabret directed by one Martin Scorsese. One would be hard pressed to find a more solid leading lady.

Williams took a somewhat similar role in moving herself from the safe confines of Dawson's Creek to more daring and challenging work. During her time off from playing a, wait for it, pretty and promiscuous blond, she took roles in films including But I'm A Cheerleader, Prozac Nation and critical darling The Station Agent. And before anyone pulls out the 'Williams shuns mainstream film card,' let us not forget her role in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later. Then, two years after her show went off the air, she seamlessly broke through to the A-list with her performance in Brokeback Mountain.

There are of course many differences between the two women. While Lively has certainly shown herself to be no schlub in the acting department, Williams' quietly devastating performances in movies like Wendy and Lucy or her Oscar nominated role in Blue Valentine are the type that few actors would ever be capable of. Furthermore, while Williams may be a fashionista and red carpet darling, she would likely sooner die than appear as a model for Chanel, a role Lively will take on in an ad campaign later this year.

At 23-years-old, Lively is only two years younger than Williams when she received her first Oscar nod. The industry seems to love her and if she continues to choose roles as effectively as she currently is, there is no reason to believe she won't achieve similar success.

And before anyone rolls their eyes, don't forget we live in a world where a former 90210 guest star is a two-time Oscar winner.


  • zooeyglass1999 says:

    Lively is not a very good actress whereas Williams is. Lively was terrible, and I repeat, terrible in the Town.

  • Anita says:

    Although some may question her talent; I have always applauded her role choices. For someone who's on a show such as Gossip Girl, her movie resume is very impressive. At her age she could easily be doing teen slasher movies etc. but she takes her time choosing her projects. While her roles may have only been small, not only has the quality of the project more than made up for it, she has also gotten to act and gain valuable experience from it's high calibre of actors.
    Before the nay-Sayers and the trolls start an uprising, the writer is merely comparing their similar starts and assessing Miss Lively's POTENTIAL rather than suggesting that she is as talented as Michelle. I doubt people expected the girl who played Jen in Dawson's Creek to turn into an Oscar worthy actress (even though Jen was my favourite). Yes Blake still has a long way to go but I think she has done well so far. Only time will tell if she has what it takes to have a long successful career.

  • Ingrid says:

    Agreed. She was terrible. She was basically playing Serena, but poor, with a terrible accent and bad makeup.

  • SunnydaZe says:

    Blake Lively? Oh, you're just making up names at this point.

  • anna says:

    How much did Blake's publicist pay you to write this?
    And Michelle Williams doesn't shrug and mumble her through every role.

  • anna says:

    I couldn't understand her through her mumbling and bad accent.

  • Pete Davis says:

    Thanks for repeating it, zoey--but that doen't make it true. Her accent was good (i'm from massachusetts) she was completely authentic in a role that would have been hard for most any actress, much less a 23 year old just off a television show. i wonder why so many women hate on Blake Lively when she is clearly so talented, not to mention beautiful. oh....

  • Neo says:

    ...or Sharon Stone?

  • Tee says:

    I cringed every time she had to speak a line in The Town.

  • Shur says:

    you can't even compare them.. if someone will become a michelle williams you will have to see them be on a show, fall off the face of the earth starring in a bunch of indies then come back with a huge breakthrough.. blake isn't going that route and lets face it, she's not a talented actress
    Blake's resume consists of getting by hiding behind great ensembles (her being the weakest link in pippa and the town) and she has green lantern coming up which is something that Michelle Williams has never done. Williams worked her way up slowly finally getting her breakthrough with brokeback mountain and is genuinly talented, Blake will have broken through this summer with Green Lantern.. there's a huge difference between those 2 kind of breakthroughs
    she was never on the shortlist for gatsby, it was all hype.. her audition was a disaster and she hasn't gotten any of the parts her publicists put her name on

  • shur says:

    while I do agree that she chooses wisely she kind of has to, since she has very limited acting abilities
    so far she has hid behind great actors, directors and scripts.. and with hick she's likely to do the same
    we will see what happens when Green Lantern comes out when she's not in that safe position and see how well her acting is

  • shur says:

    ofcourse when women hate on an actress it's because of jealousy, ofcourse
    it's not because they happen to find them terrible at their jobs, nooo! it MUST be jealousy

  • blizzard bound says:

    You forgot to mention Michelle Williams's ability to do comedy, as in "Dick," which I thought was smart and funny. I'd say she's got mad skills all over the dramatic map.
    I don't know about Ms. Lively. I've never seen her tv show. I thought she was okay in Pippa Lee (I thought Robin Wright was ~ once again ~ breathtaking -- will that woman never get her due?).
    Philosophically: Does an actress have to be the next anyone?

  • Chris Spargo says:

    I do regret leaving out 'Dick,' which is of course phenomenal and one of the most underrated comedies of the 90s.
    And yes, the whole "next" idea can be annoying, but in this case both actors are coming from the same starting ground and I feel Lively gets a bum rap from most.

  • Strawberry Pain says:

    God. I love Robin Wright and lament that she's not in more things. She is quietly haunting. Nice call.

  • Mike says:

    I saw some of Annabelle and Elvis (or is it the otherway around?) the only thing I've seen Ms. Lively in and I thought she was okay. There are plenty of pretty actresses. Maybe, just maybe, she realizes some of her shortcomings and takes on lesser roles. It's better to be a lesser player with a talented cast than a major player with a lesser cast. I don't think she can carry a film like say Anne Hathaway or Meryl Streep.

  • SaltySue says:

    Oh, I see what you did there with that last line Chris, you made sure to imply that even mediocre (possibly bad) actresses can still get Oscar nominations.
    Point taken.
    I'm just glad you weren't implying that Blake is a good actress.

  • liana says:

    That 90210 guest star deserved her Oscar, at the least her first. Blake on the other has yet to compare to Michelle Williams.

  • Crystal says:

    Blake Lively will likely end up being the next Katie Holmes. She's not considered talented like Michelle Williams is. It appears too be a struggle for Blake to get the type of roles she wants despite getting a lot of buzz and judging from her having absoltuely nothing lined up beyond Green Lantern and Gossip Girl for the longest time which was starting too get noticed. The woman has long way too go before she establishes herself as movie star. Just because she's getting better roles that her co-stars (who gets better press for their acting than Blake does especially Leighton Meester, her choice in movies may suck but her acting in them gets tons of praise), doesn't mean that she's becoming an established star especially since the popular opinion on her performance in those roles are not flattering. She gets as much criticism for acting as Chace Crawford does for his. Being on the shortlist for Daisy on The Great Gatsby which I doubt she was because I remember reading somewhere that she didn't get a callback is not impressive in my opinion, getting the role is.
    [ i wonder why so many women hate on Blake Lively when she is clearly so talented, not to mention beautiful. oh....]
    Not everyone who hates on her is female. There are males who don't find her talented or/and beautiful.

  • nikki says:

    maybe if she focused more on on acting than displaying her ta-ta's, she could be the next Michelle Williams. I saw her annabelle and elvis thought she was great. but my god in gossip girl I just want to put my fist through the tv.

  • Maya says:

    Couldn't agree more.

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