Michelle Williams Interview & Photos As Marilyn Monroe | US Vogue October 2011

Andrej Pejic as Marilyn Monroe in ‘Norman Hean’ by Jenna Elizabeth AOC Private Studio

Decades after her death, America continues its infatuation with Marilyn Monroe. Just out is Andrej Pejic’s honorarium to Marilyn, stunning film tribute for LoveCat Magazine.  Andrej is irrepressible as always! Ironically, he may have more confidence playing Marilyn than she did — playing herself.

Michelle Williams is interviewed, with snaps by Annie Leibovitz in the October 2011 issue of Vogue US.

Michelle Williams plays Marilyn in the new movie ‘My Week with Marilyn’, which chronicles a turbulent, behind the scenes shooting of 1957  ‘The Prince and the Showgirl ‘, starring Kenneth Branagh who also directed. The screenplay comes from the late documentary filmmaker Colin Clark (son of Sir Kenneth), who was then a 23-year-old nobody on the set. Vogue writes:

It is Colin’s brief encounter with Monroe as her confidant, protector, and almost lover that gives My Week with Marilyn its tender heart. Dougray Scott stars as Monroe’s aloof husband, Arthur Miller; Dominic Cooper as her anxious business partner Milton Greene; and Zoë Wanamaker as her Svengali-like acting coach Paula Strasberg; there are stylish cameos by Simon Russell Beale, Sir Derek Jacobi, and, as Dame Sybil Thorndike, Dame Judi Dench.

With the film star and bombshell actress dead for decades, Williams turned to her biographies, diaries, letters and notes, photographs, recordings, movies of course, and even YouTube recordings.

I found myself wondering if Marilyn Monroe and Anais Nin ever crossed paths. My reflections on Marilyn Monroe and Anais Nin run deep — as in dream state.

Anais Nin and Marilyn Monroe were alive in the same years. Did my queen of erotic writing ever meet my queen of sensuality? ‘Yes’ writes Maryanne Raphael in ‘Anais Nin: The Voyage Within.’

In the winter of 1955, Anais went to the opening of Michael Field’s ice cream parlor across the street from the Plaza Hotel.

Many famous people were there, but Anais’ attention was drawn to Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield. Anais found it fascinating that Marilyn wore no makeup and looked fresh; and that she was interested in everyone who was there. In contrast, Jayne Mansfield wore heavy makeup and seemed to be constantly posing for the cameras.

This image of Marilyn Monroe is the one I’ve discovered with digging and letting her spirit talk my arm off in the early hours of morning or worse yet, when truly ill and bedridden with malaise. Monroe can take advantage but only because she is desperate to be heard.

When I listened to Marilyn’s obscure YouTube videos — especially to hear her getting off a plane and speaking about women’s rights with the hope of being taken seriously — my view of her changed forever.

Did Michelle Williams listen to the same video — and does she bring this vision of Marilyn to the movie?

It seems that Marilyn Monroe was far more astute on matters of sexuality and respectability than we credit her for being. Michelle Williams references this duality in speaking of her metamorphosis into Marilyn.

“Any messages that I got as a child about what it is to have a woman’s body or to be sexual were all negative—that people wouldn’t take you seriously or that they would take advantage of you,” Williams says. “So I couldn’t relate to that at all.”

“But I do remember one moment of being all suited up as Marilyn and walking from my dressing room onto the soundstage practicing my wiggle. There were three or four men gathered around a truck, and I remember seeing that they were watching me come and feeling that they were watching me go—and for the very first time I glimpsed some idea of the pleasure I could take in that kind of attention; not their pleasure but my pleasure. And I thought, Oh, maybe Marilyn felt that when she walked down the beach.”

Perhaps surprisingly — and maybe as expected — Michelle Williams says that she has difficulty letting go of Marilyn Monroe, now that her movie role in ‘My Week with Marilyn’, is finished. She take Vogue writer Adam Green to Feinstein’s, an old-school supper club in the Regency Hotel, to hear a jazz singer named Rebecca Kilgore perform songs made famous by Monroe.

I’ve skipped over the personal details of Michelle Williams’ career and life with Heath Ledger and now her daughter Matilda in Brooklyn’s Boerum Hill. Read my own personal articles about Marilyn:

Marilyn Monroe | A Smart, Sensual Blonde AOC Sensually Yours

Reflections on Female Sexual Desire: Anais Nin, Marilyn Monroe & Isabelle Allende Join Forces with Anne AOC Sensually Yours

Enjoy the Annie Leibovitz Vogue photoshoot of Michelle Williams playing Marilyn for Vogue US, October 2011.