Michelle Williams' Marilyn Monroe transformation in 'Vogue': Itching to see 'My Week with Marilyn' now?

She’s co-starred with Ryan Gosling and has grown into one of the most acclaimed actresses in the industry, but there’s yet another reason to feel jealous of Michelle Williams. While filming Nov. 4’s My Week With Marilyn — which centers on Marilyn Monroe’s time filming 1957’s The Prince and the Showgirl — Williams attempted to make her body more curvy, but, simply, just could not gain the weight. “Ultimately, it went right to my face,” she told Vogue in a cover story by Adam Green, shot by Annie Leibovitz. “So at some point it became a question of, Do I want my face to look like Marilyn Monroe’s or my hips?”

Eventually, Williams decided to use padding to bolster her figure, but, based on Vogue‘s piece, it seems her transformation into Monroe in the film is still all natural. Though many of you balked at the first photos of Williams as Monroe, the actress’ immersion into the character is impressive (she read plenty of books, watched movies, and listened to music to become Monroe), and her co-stars are telling folks to expect a spot-on performance. Said Kenneth Branagh, who plays Sir Laurence Olivier, to Vogue, “I’d look over and there is Michelle. Half an hour later, Marilyn has arrived but is a bit sleepy. Half an hour later, I look round and Marilyn is now very frisky. And finally, just before we’re due to be called, Marilyn is fully there — the dress is on, the hair is in place, there’s a glint in the eye.”

Williams also noted that she’s changed as an individual, too, in the past year, not feeling “as shy or nervous or self-conscious.” Of course, most of those latter feelings arose with the death of Heath Ledger, her ex-fiancé, in 2008. (Williams had a daughter, Matilda, with Ledger in 2005.)  But, as she told Vogue, Williams has turned a corner: “Three years ago, it felt like we didn’t have anything, and now my life — our life — has kind of repaired itself … Look, it’s not a perfectly operating system — there are holes and dips and electrical storms — but the basics are intact.” Still, Ledger’s death has “changed how I see the world and how I interact on a daily basis. It’s changed the parent I am. It’s changed the friend I am. It’s changed the kind of work that I really want to do. It’s become the lens through which I see life — that it’s all impermanent.” Read Vogue‘s full story here.

PopWatchers, reading the piece, are you more compelled by the idea of Williams as Marilyn Monroe?

Follow Kate on Twitter @KateWardEW

Read more:
Michelle Williams plays Marilyn Monroe: The first image from ‘My Week with Marilyn’
Michelle Williams’ ‘My Week with Marilyn’ to highlight New York Film Festival


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  • Polly

    Really looking forward to this movie. I’m a big fan of Michelle and am thrilled to see her enjoying life and getting the roles she deserves.

  • Yolanda

    I am more intrigued now than ever. When I first heard she was cast I did not buy Michelle in the role, but I’m thinking she can pull it off now.

  • Marcelina

    Her boobs are so huge! There are too many actresses playing Marilyn Monroe in different projects. Poppy Montgomery in the television mini-series, Blonde, Michelle Williams in My Week with Marilyn, Naomi Watts in the forthcoming film, Blonde, Angelina Jolie was rumoured in The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, and of His Friend, Marilyn Monroe. I wish only one actress would play her in every project.

  • Henry

    Because Williams proves that she is a stellar actress with every role she takes, I can only imagine that she will knock this out of the park. That said…..I have faith that the studio is relying on her skills as an actress to pull this off because she looks nothing like Marilyn Monroe.

  • Boof

    Do we really need another movie about this dead chick? I don’t think so.

  • Fanny

    I am so annoy of people keep bashing Ms. Williams. “Oh, it should’ve been ScarJo or C Hendricks” or ScarJo turning down the role”
    They judged Williams without seeing the final product.
    I am so anxious to the see the film. I believe she will blow peoples away.

    • Ally

      I love M. Williams- and I am in no way bashing her, BUT I still don’t think she looks ANYTHING like her. I would way rather see C. Hendricks play MM- but Im sure Michelle’s acting will be great. Just wish she looked more like her.

  • ‘Lish

    You’re missing the point. She in no way compares at all to Marilyn Monroe.

  • Spock

    She doesn’t remotely resemble MM.

  • DavidJ

    Kinda strange to see an actress with so much depth and talent trying so hard to channel an actress as utterly vacuous as Marilyn.

    • Sugar Kane

      This kind of comment only reveals your ignorance about Monroe’s talent. Have you ever watched her on the screen? She was a brilliant comedienne and a competent dramatic actress. She was also incredibly intelligent. The breathless, baby-voiced Marilyn was a persona that she carefully crafted because it allowed her to get ahead in Hollywood.

    • Michelle

      50 years ago, when Marilyn was at the top of her game, studios controlled what the actors looked like, sounded like, acted like, and what films they would do. Marilyn wanted nothing more than to be a serious actress but the studio wanted her to be the next big bombshell. She was nothing more than a cash machine to them and her feelings were completely disregarded.

  • dustin

    Marilyn had beautiful shoulders…..Michelle has droopy shoulders and slouches.

  • Kathy

    I’ve seen Marylin Monroe impersonators that look more than she does in portraying MM

  • anna

    I don’t care, actually.

  • Sarah

    Poppy Montgomery was the best Marilyn I’ve seen. her acting was flawless!

  • ADL9

    It shouldn’t have to matter that the actor doesn’t look like their subject, its about the performance, and Williams would bring way more intelligence, depth and complexities such a character embodied.

    It happens all the time: Colin Firth looked NOTHING like George VI, Marion Cotillard didn’t resemble Edith Piaf, and Kenneth Branagh also fails to look anything like Olivier.

    DiCaprio looks nothing like J. Edgar Hoover but no one seems to have a problem with that. People are only complaining because Monroe is more known than the others.

  • ann

    Can’t decide… is it a bad April Fool’s joke or a bad Halloween joke?

    Not. Even. Close.

    • Yram

      Yuck. She looks like Renee Zellweger.

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