Jessica Williams Wins an AAFCA Award for Her “Shrinking” Performance
Jessica Williams, who plays Eulalie Hicks in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, has been talking about her performance in Apple TV+’s Shrinking, for which she has also been honored with an African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) award at this year’s ceremony.
Williams recently spoke to the Los Angeles Times about Shrinking and various other topics. The interview started off with her sharing the story of how she originally got the role of Gaby. She described how her first meeting with Shrinking‘s co-creators, Jason Segel, Brett Goldstein, and Bill Lawrence, was a “really, really good initial meeting” and how she“just walked away really liking them.” She also spoke about how she got to influence and help create Gaby’s character, saying that the creators told her they wanted to “figure out who Gaby is together.” Williams mentioned that she’s always loved to do improv and was encouraged to utilize it to explore her character.
Williams also broke down more of the behind-the-scenes elements of the show. She revealed how she got to have a say in Gaby’s wardrobe, especially with one specific company that makes “really amazing, really inclusive, kind of really colorful jumpsuits.” She added that she wanted to ensure that she was “cute on screen” and looked like she would in real life going out with her friends. Williams also talked about the Black lady therapist trope, which caused debates on Twitter after an article about it was published. She shared her idea of how to break a stereotype, saying that you have to “attack things with specificity as much as possible.”
Williams also spoke about her time in the Wizarding World. She said it was “insane doing that” because it was her first experience on a big-budget set, and she was amazed at the amount of special effects available. One of the biggest challenges she faced was that she “didn’t get the crutch of being able to riff and do improv,” but she still learned a lot from being able to watch “BAFTA boys,” like Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law, act. She also shared her view on the controversial comments made by J. K. Rowling, stating that she hopes her own belief in the validity of transgender people “never comes into question.”
All of Williams’s hard work in Shrinking has paid off: She’s been named this year’s Breakout Star by the African American Film Critics Association for her portrayal of Gaby, and we can’t wait to see what she gets up to next!