Michelle Williams. (Matt Sayles/AP)

But despite all the success and accolades, a new interview with GQ makes it clear that one aspect of Williams’s personal life will always come up — her time with Heath Ledger. It’s clearly a painful topic for the actress to talk about.

(She previously discussed how her pixie cut is worn as a tribute to the late Oscar winner, who is the father of her daughter, Matilda.)

To fully understand the emotional punch of the following quote, seen after the jump, I recommend reading the entire teary GQ profile first.

During their third and final meeting, GQ’s Chris Heath asked Williams, “Do you think there was a part of you that imagined the two of you would somehow end up together?”

The pair had split shortly before Ledger’s untimely death in January 2008.

Williams responded “No, No,” as she began to cry; Heath writes that he felt immediate regret about asking the question.

He tries to move on, but she stops him:

“No," she says. "I said it would make me too sad to answer but it's also . . ." — and she nods even as her voice breaks once more with tears — ". . . one of my favorite things to imagine." And through the tears, a beaming, almost beatific smile stretches room-wide across her face. "It's actually one of my favorite places to visit."

Hey, now we’re all crying! (Heath notes at the beginning of the profile, “If any of it breaks your heart, it was probably already a little broken to begin with.” Take that how you will.)

Williams offers up a few other, much sweeter quotes about Ledger, but the interview’s really focused on how the actress is playing against type as bombshell Marilyn Monroe, as witnessed by the extremely sexy lingerie photo shoot that accompanies the interview.

Read about that topic, as well as how she’s attending “the James Franco school” of books, here.