Michelle Williams revealed in a new interview that she secretly married Phil Elverum. While the 40-year-old may not be a household name like his Oscar-nominated wife, he is a critically acclaimed indie musician.
Williams, 37, gushed in her September 2018 cover story for Vanity Fair that her low-key relationship with Elverum is “very sacred and very special.” The couple quietly exchanged vows in the Adirondacks in upstate New York earlier this month in front of a few friends and their daughters. (The Blue Valentine actress is the mother of 12-year-old Matilda with the late Heath Ledger, while Elverum is the father of 3-year-old Agathe with the late illustrator Geneviève Castrée.)
Here are five things to know about Elverum!
1. He Is a Singer and Songwriter
Elverum is best known as the frontman of The Microphones. He was the principal member of the rock band from 1996 to 2003 before he began recording solo under the moniker Mount Eerie. Around the same time of his musical switcheroo, he changed the spelling of his last name from Elvrum to Elverum, inspired by the Norwegian town of the same name.
2. He Just Moved to Brooklyn, New York
Elverum was raised in Anacortes, Washington, a small town on Fidalgo Island for most of his life. But earlier this month, he packed up his belongings and drove across the country with his daughter to live with Williams and Matilda in Brooklyn.
3. He Was a Single Parent
Elverum’s first wife, Castrée, was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer in 2015, four months after they welcomed their only child. She had gone to the doctor for a routine postpartum checkup when she received the diagnosis. The normally private couple decided to go public with a GoFundMe campaign to help raise money for Castrée’s medical costs in June 2016. She died the next month at the age of 35.
Williams has also dealt with the loss of a partner. Ledger died at age 28 in January 2008 from cardiac arrest brought on by prescription drug intoxication. “I never gave up on love,” she told Vanity Fair. “I always say to Matilda, ‘Your dad loved me before anybody thought I was talented, or pretty, or had nice clothes.’”
4. He Turned to Music After His Wife’s Death
Elverum began writing and recording new songs about Castrée’s ordeal and the heartbreak he felt after her death. He released two albums inspired by the past two years, A Crow Looked at Me and Now Only, the first of which was named one of the best albums of 2017 by The New York Times. “Death is real, someone’s there and then they’re not / And it’s not for singing about / It’s not for making into art,” he sings in the opening track of A Crow Looked at Me.
5. He Knows Williams’ Friends
While the newlyweds managed to keep their romance out of the spotlight, there was one tiny clue in March on the actress’ best friend and former Dawson’s Creek costar Busy Philipps’ Instagram account. Philipps, 39, posted a photo with Elverum while they attended the March for Our Lives demonstration with her husband, Marc Silverstein, and their daughters, Birdie, 9, and Cricket, 5.
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!