“You just finished playing Marilyn. Was it amazing?
Many things — amazing being one of them. The movie (‘My Week With Marilyn’) takes place when she was making ‘The Prince and the Showgirl’ and married to Arthur Miller. I didn’t stop shooting that long ago, so I’ve still got one foot in it.
Did you read ‘Fragments,’ the book of Marilyn’s writings?
Oh, isn’t that a beautiful book? You know that was an auspicious day on set. We were filming at Park Side House, which is where she stayed when she was in London, and it was our first day there and it was the day the book came out and there are notes in the book written on Park Side House stationary.
Ever come home from work depressed?
Um, look, there is residue, always, always for me. No matter what the role, there’s some residue and rightly so, necessarily so. But my primary commitment in this world is my daughter and I cannot commit myself, not to say I haven’t, but I can’t stay there.
This 64-pp magazine special, published by Compendium, is exclusive to WH Smith stores in the UK, and is currently on sale for £3.99. The text, by Richard Havers, is abridged from his 2010 book, Marilyn in Words, Pictures and Music, and is presented in a red folder with six A5 postcards inside. (The CD included with Havers’ previous book is not available here.) The narrative is a potted biography, but the main attraction here is an eye-catching selection of photos. (Non-UK magazine collectors are advised to watch out for this on Ebay.)
“Monroe was not born but became a blonde; blondeness is a state of ambivalent grace, to which anyone who wants it badly enough may aspire … The blonde’s physical fragility is, of course, only apparent. She must have a robust constitution to survive the arrows life deals her… The mythic role of the Good Bad Girl is, however, directly at variance with the real facts of her life, as all mythic roles are apt to be… The reality of her could never live up to her publicity.”
Are there books or movies or anything other than music that inspire what you write?
The writing can be inspired by a conversation I hear in a pub or on a bus from everyday people. When I’m writing I have images – I think of it like a film. It’s a very visual process and fashion very much inspires me. Film too, like Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, The Godfather, and Scarface. I am a huge fan of movies and I have always been obsessed with Marilyn. I think that my most ideal men in the world would be Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson.