Williams plays a woman who braves harsh conditions in the Oregon desert in the outlaw western film, which takes place in 1845.
And after wrapping the shoot, Williams was stunned to learn that her own great-great grandmother made a similar journey across the U.S. after emigrating from Norway.
She tells Interview magazine, "I was talking to my grandma on the phone maybe a month ago, and she said, 'Did you ever hear this story about Inge? Inge Jacobin?' I said, 'No, but it's a great name, Inge Jacobin. Tell me about Inge Jacobin.'
"Inge Jacobin would be my great, great grandmother, I think, and she was a stowaway. At 15 years old, she got on a boat from Norway, made it to Ellis Island, and then hopped on a covered wagon, and that's how they got to Montana. I found that out after I made Meek's... Some part of me has done this journey before."
The Brokeback Mountain star is convinced she shares that same rebellious streak after leaving home when she was 15 to follow her acting dreams.
She adds, "It gave me so much comfort (to be independent). Why did I have that urge? I think it was Inge Jacobin’s bones kicking around in me."
Adaptation of John Henry Redwood's play, set in Harlem in the 1940s, about two sisters whose lives are altered when a young Southern man takes temporary lodging in their apartment. Quilly, newly separated from her husband, has come to live with her never-married sister Elizabeth. She is dismayed to learn that her cash-strapped sibling has rented a room in their modest Harlem apartment to a handsome young boarder, Husband Witherspoon. Husband has traveled from rural South Carolina to search for his hometown sweetheart, Lou Bessie. Husband soon learns that Lou Bessie has become a fast-living party girl known as Charmaine. Though he tries, Husband is unable to fit into her world. Desperate for real companionship, Husband reaches out to the much-older Elizabeth and convinces her that their romance can work. The two begin a love affair over the objections of Quilly and Lou Bessie, who dismisses Elizabeth as "an old settler" -- a woman who has reached middle age with no prospect of marriage.