03/06/2008 AT 11:00 AM EST
When Michelle Williams
spoke to Elle
magazine in January, she had no idea she'd be faced with the death of her ex, Heath Ledger
, only days later on Jan. 22.
At the time, she was still mourning their breakup. "I didn't know where to go" after their 2007 split, she says in the magazine's April issue. "I couldn't imagine any place in the world that was gonna feel good to me."
Williams, 27, dove into work on several films, because "when I have too much free time, that's when things start to get a little messy."
She also naturally focused on Matilda, 2, her daughter with Ledger. "She's bigger to me than any relationship, bigger than the awards," Williams says. "She's what came out of it."