Matilda Rose Ledger was born on October 28, 2005, in New York City. Her parents are Michelle Williams and the late Heath Ledger, who met on the set of the film Brokeback Mountain, in which they played husband and wife. During their time together, they lived in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, New York.
Matilda’s godfather is Jake Gyllenhaal, her costar in Brokeback Mountain, while her godmother is Busy Philipps, Williams’ co-star on Dawson’s Creek.
Williams “reads bedtime stories to Matilda … in whatever accent she’s practicing — East London for ‘Incendiary,’ Boston for ‘Shutter Island’ — but has had a hard time balancing the immersive demands of acting and the consuming duties of motherhood” and “The bleakness of some of the roles has also taken a toll”. Williams “still finds herself reacting to the tabloid intrusions” of celebrity stardom “with bewilderment” and finds it difficult to “negotiate a gulf between private self and public image” and the phenomenon of celebrity ‘a bit of an isolating problem to have'”. Williams is “an avid reader who favors poetry over novels while filming so she’s not distracted by competing narratives” and who would like “to pick up a skill” like embroidery during her yearlong sabbatical from filming.
In a December 2008 interview with L.A. Weekly, Williams spoke about taking time off set to be a full-time single mother and the support she has found in what she refers to as “coffee-shop parents” and “single-mom parents”. Williams said, “I’m not quite ready to give up working, but I don’t know how to do the good balance of it. That’s the challenge, to live in the chaos.”