While at a press conference for her new film, Wonderstruck, at the Cannes Film Festival on Thursday, the Oscar-nominated actress opened up about being a mother both on-screen and in real life.
“Being a mother is not only who I am in my relationship with my daughter, but it’s a part of the kind of work that I wanna make and the relationship with the person that I want to be for her. So there is really no area of my life that is untouched,” she explained. “It’s at the center of everything that I do.”
And for Williams, who plays a single mom in the upcoming drama, being a great listener is top priority when it comes to parenting.
“What I find most interesting about motherhood in this film, and everything that I make about being a mother, is being responsive to the child that you are connecting to,” shared Williams, 36.
She continued: “Personally and professionally, the great [trick to] working with children and knowing children is listening to children, and responding to who they are. Not your idea of a perfect child, not who you want them to be, but who they really are.”
In fact, the parenting style seems to have worked for Williams, who went on to reveal that her daughter—with the late Heath Ledger—gifted her a Mother’s Day card with a very sweet message.
“For Mother’s Day, my daughter gave me a card that said, ‘Mom, thanks for letting me be me,’ and it was a picture with somebody in high heels on a skateboard,” said Williams.
She added: “That’s my ultimate [goal]; that’s what I want them to do.”
This article originally appeared on People.com