Raising Matilda

09 Jun 2009
By Ahlanlive.com

Ahlan! goes inside the world of the happiest child in Hollywood...

Despite the untimely death of her father HEATH LEDGER, last January, three-year-old MATILDA LEDGER appears to be enjoying a blissful childhood in NYC. Thanks to the calming influence of her mother, MICHELLE WILLIAMS – who’s sacrificed the glamour of Hollywood to give her daughter a stable upbringing – Matilda is growing into a refreshingly normal little girl. Ahlan! reveals all...

Suburban roots
Shunning the glitz and glamour of neighbouring Manhattan, Michelle lives with Matilda in a quiet family suburb in Brooklyn, New York.

“I looked for ages to find the right place in Manhattan,” revealed Michelle. “And people said ‘Well, what about Brooklyn?’ I said ‘I didn’t move to New York to live in Brooklyn!’ But then I wanted a garden and that was only going to be possible in Brooklyn. Now I really wouldn’t go back to Manhattan. The neighbourhood that we live in is just amazing.”

‘Normal’ friends
Unlike SURI CRUISE, who’s often snapped awkwardly eyeballing other kids, Matilda – described by her mother as “a tender-hearted, high-spirted, beautiful little girl” – enjoys climbing jungle bars and racing scooters on play-dates with the neighbourhood kids.

Mum puts her first
“Since having a kid I just don’t have the same access to the [fashion] world. I don’t see as many shows, I don’t go to many movies and I hardly read any books anymore, I don’t spend as much time, energy or money on myself,” says Michelle. “All my energies go into her.But it is really worth it. She is everything to me, she’s my world.”

She’s constantly reminded of her father
Michelle is often spotted with Matilda in Prospect Park – near Brooklyn – a spot where Michelle and Heath would spend lazy afternoons when they were together. And although Michelle has found love again, with director Spike Jonze – of whom Heath was said to be a fan – Michelle has vowed to keep Heath’s memory alive for her daughter, while Spike acts as a surrogate father.

“[Michelle] is in love with Spike and he is stepping in as a great stepfather figure,” spilled a pal of their modern family set-up.