Method to the Marilyn: Michelle Williams makes a splash as Monroe
When Michelle Williams got the role of Marilyn Monroe in the film My Week with Marilyn — a performance that is generating Oscar talk even before the movie has opened — the first thing she did was watch a ton of Monroe movies.
“I started with The Prince and the Showgirl,” she says. “I started watching that movie while my daughter was in school, absorbing as much as I could, pausing it, trying to emulate what I had seen, made a lot of mistakes, completely clueless, and then, one day, things started to come together.”
Williams rigged up a costume of sorts — a tight dress, a push-up bra, high heels — then tied her knees together and tried to imitate Monroe’s famous walk, a slinky kind of wiggle that was almost a parody of sexuality. The way Monroe carried herself was far from what Williams was used to.
“As I talk to you now, I’m hunched over a desk, my shoulders are sloped, my posture is bad, my head is down,” Williams says, talking by phone. “None of that is Marilyn Monroe. So I had a long way to go from where I naturally live, from where my body, after 31 years, has learned to sort of settle.” (Photo: Alliance Films)