Charlotte Sullivan on Playing Marilyn

Artwork by Marilynette Lounge

Actress Charlotte Sullivan has been talking about her role as Marilyn in The Kennedys:

“There’s a big difference between playing (Monroe) in a movie and playing her at home. With my audition, it could have gone either way, but I didn’t put on ‘the voice’. I had watched her early movies and she didn’t have that voice. It wasn’t until a few movies into her career that she discovered that thing she could do…I really fell in love with her. I liked her very much prior to doing this, but researching her extensively, with her depression and her sadness, I just found her to be a stunning, smart, misunderstood person.”

Toronto Sun

“I didn’t do any research on the Kennedys – I focused all my research on her. And I wanted to make her as real as humanly possible, because I think you think of her as this movie star. And she was a really beautiful human, yes, but also one of the most compelling and intelligent human beings. I obviously became obsessed with YouTube, but I also tried to read as many books as possible. Unfortunately, her diary [was published] after we shot, which broke my heart into a million pieces. I wanted that diary so badly! But even with all the information that’s out there, no one will ever know her.”

NBC Los Angeles

Charlotte will appear as Marilyn in Episode 8 of The Kennedys, now showing on Reelz Channel in the US.

Tetley Launches ‘Tea’ Perfume

British tea company Tetley are to launch an ‘eau de tea’ perfume for £15 via their Ebay website, Metro reports. ‘Le Brew’ boasts an illustration of Tetley’s ‘Tina’ replicating MM’s famous ‘skirt-blowing’ pose from The Seven Year Itch.

The research that prompted the launch of Le Brew found tea to be the fourth most popular smell in the UK with fresh bread, freshly cut grass and just washed laundry ranking above it.

Immortal Marilyn in April

Among this month’s updates at Immortal Marilyn are Claire Stevenson’s fascinating profile of James Haspiel, the teenage fan who became a friend to Marilyn and took many candid photos of her; a feature on Natasha Lytess from club president Mary Sims; another vintage magazine article from Tony; and Fraser’s review of Lois Banner’s MM – Personal.

Marilyn Exhibit in Crete

‘Marilyn Monroe in the Arts’ is an exhibition due to open at the DEKK International Exhibition Centre, Gouves, Crete, on April 16, running until October 30.

“‘Marilyn Monroe in the Arts’ captures the celebrity and the myth of the most famous women of the 20th century with 200 works of art spanning the last six decades. The show brings together an incredibly diverse array of artistic responses to the Marilyn persona – from her greatest photographs like the ‘Subway grate scene’ to her most famous image by pop artist Andy Warhol. Mel Ramos, Peter Blake, Eve Arnold, Mimmo Rotella, Sam Shaw – 80 world-famous photographers, painters, sculptors and media artists celebrate and uncover the many sides of Marilyn Monroe and her myth. The photographs recount her changeful life, picture her in public but also reveal her secret private moments. The artworks penetrate her biography, question her identity and image and illuminate her timeless status as a cult figure.”

Marilyn in the Age of the Hourglass

Marilyn on the set of ‘Let’s Make Love’, 1960 (photo by Richard C. Miller)

The recent passing of both Jane Russell and Elizabeth Taylor has stirred up nostalgia for the voluptuous sirens of the fifties – none more celebrated, of course, than Marilyn Monroe…

“In the hip, the bosom, the hair: More was more. Two curves were an hourglass. The arms carried a little flesh…

Lots of women, lots of movie stars were built like Taylor, full-figured, untoned, and uninhibited, with Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, and Gina Lollobrigida completing an unmatched Trinity of mid-20th-century bodaciousness. From France, in the 1960s, there were Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve.

Jane Russell died on the last day of February, meaning that, in less than a month, the movies lost two of its last legendarily heavenly bodies. In 1953, Russell and Monroe, the strapping brunette and the iconic blonde, left their footprints, handprints, and signatures alongside each other at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Russell and the Trinity embodied male sex fantasies while appearing to play shrewd roles in their own objectification. The gaze only made them stronger, which is what some exotic entertainers mention when talking about the thrill of their work…

It’s not just our feelings about stardom that have changed in the last 50 years. It’s our idea of the body. One of the joys of watching AMC’s Mad Men’ is the arch pleasure it takes in the archetypal body of the 1960s woman. The camera doesn’t ogle the hourglasses and pear shapes. It seems to study them with a kind of documentary care…”

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe

‘Mad About Marilyn’ Updates

My review of Pamela Keogh’s Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? (first posted here) is reprinted in the latest issue of Mad About Marilyn magazine. Also featured are photographer Bill Carroll; a short story by Michael Williams; a vintage Photoplay article, ‘Orphan in Ermine’, a look back at Marilyn’s ‘night at the circus’ in 1955; and a review of John Vachon’s Lost Look Photos.

If you would like to join the Mad About Marilyn Fan Club, please email Emma: emmadowning@blueyonder.co.uk

Dennis Stock Pics Added to Magnum Archive

This wonderful photo of Marilyn, taken by Dennis Stock, on board a plane in 1959 – she was returning to New York after meeting the Soviet president, Nikita Krushchev, in LA – was published in The Sun yesterday. It comes from Magnum’s Paris vaults, which have just been re-opened. One reader comments that it ‘clearly looks like one of a series. She looks as if she’s about to reveal all.’ (While other shots were taken on and off the plane, MM kept her coat firmly buttoned!)

While this shot is not brand new to me, I was pleased to see a more unusual picture of Marilyn featured in a newspaper. After a quick search for ‘dennis stock marilyn monroe’ on the Magnum Photos website, I found some other interesting additions (though sadly watermarked.)

Marilyn visiting the set of ‘Desiree’ on a break from shooting ‘There’s No Business Like Show Business’ at Fox, 1954
Marilyn in ‘The Misfits’ (1960)