Kenny Kingston: Psychic to the Stars

kenny kingston
Kenny Kingston shows off his framed photos of Marilyn and Clifton Webb, 1970s

Self-proclaimed ‘Psychic to the Stars’ Kenny Kingston has died aged 87, reports the the Los Angeles Times. Kingston claimed that Marilyn first visited him in 1953, on the advice of her friend, actor Clifton Webb. She got out of a cab five blocks from his home and walked the rest of the way, explaining, ‘I didn’t want your reputation spoiled.’ Kingston said that they remained friends until her death – and long afterward…

According to Kingston, Marilyn’s spirit was reunited with ex-husband Joe DiMaggio following his death in 1999. During filming of My Week With Marilyn in 2011, the celebrity psychic told Yahoo Voices that MM contacted him from beyond the grave to express her approval of actress Michelle Williams.

Reel Life: Marilyn Monroe

The Reelz Channel in the US has just announced a new documentary, Reel Life: Marilyn Monroe, to premiere on Friday, August 3rd.

“Hosted by television personality Dayna Devon, Reel Life: Marilyn Monroe explores the continued and unrelenting popularity of the woman who wanted nothing more than to be taken seriously as an actress. We’ll talk to the stars of the hit television series Smash, Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty, whose characters are vying to be the lead in a Broadway musical based on Monroe’s life as well as Oscar-nominee Michelle Williams, who played Monroe in My Week With Marilyn about Monroe’s enduring legacy.

Fellow Hollywood icons George Hamilton and Mitzi Gaynor – Monroe’s co-star in There’s No Business Like Show Business – reveal the personal side of the woman they knew. Reel Life: Marilyn Monroe also takes a look at Monroe’s rise to sex symbol, including candid interviews with Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner, who discusses how Monroe’s nude photos helped launch his empire and catapult Monroe to superstar status. Also featured are interviews with photographers Lawrence Schiller and George Barris who share their personal stories of working with Monroe, including the story behind her last ever photo shoot.”

Celebrating Michelle’s Indie Spirit

Michelle Williams won last night’s Film Independent Spirit Award as Best Female Lead for her role in My Week With Marilyn. The ceremony was held at one of Monroe’s childhood haunts, Santa Monica Beach.

“My friend was joking that until now I have been the Susan Lucci {star of TV soap All My Children, Emmy-nominated 18 times before finally winning in 1999} of the Indie Spirit Awards! I have been luckier and luckier to be working with better and better people. I still can’t even believe I did it, playing Marilyn. There wasn’t a direct path to playing her. The only way is was time and letting her dictate it instead of me controlling it.” 

Michelle’s Misfits Tribute

Michelle Williams sported a Misfits-inspired clutch, designed (and handmade) by Olympia Le Tan, at last night’s BAFTA ceremony in London. She was nominated as Best Actress for My Week With Marilyn, but lost to Meryl Streep.

‘I find it so great that Michelle chose The Misfits as she just played Marilyn. Smart choice!’ Olympia told the Daily Mail. ‘That’s exactly the way I like my bags to be worn. For the book and for the bag!’

Acting, Imagination and Marilyn

 Douglas Eby focuses on Michelle Williams’ recent portrayal of Marilyn in an article for PsychCentral:

“Michelle Williams devoted some ten months to researching Marilyn Monroe for her acclaimed performance in ‘My Week With Marilyn.’

Producer Harvey Weinstein said he was impressed at the level of Williams’ preparation, how she could quote passages from Maurice Zolotow’s biography on Monroe.

‘Michelle researches a role like no one I’ve ever encountered,’ Weinstein wrote in an email. ‘She watched and studied the movies and photos; she read every book, every biography.… She could describe how Marilyn wiggled and winked while quoting some of her best lines, [like] when she teased that she was nude by saying, “I have nothing on but the radio.’” …

Williams probably also read: My Story, the autobiography by Marilyn Monroe.

She commented in an interview, ‘So I lived with her, and I never stopped trying to find more information. Even on set, on the 10-minute breaks, I would be back poring through photos or with my earphones in watching a movie. I was obsessed. I was on the trail of something. There were clues, and I had to solve a mystery.’

From my Inner Actor post Michelle Williams on Interpreting Marilyn Monroe.”

‘One of the many elements of My Week With Marilyn that I appreciated was the depiction of the emotional challenges Monroe suffered from the onslaught of fame and media attention.’ Eby explores this theme further in another article, ‘Actor’s Privacy and The Dark Side of Fame‘, with reference to ‘Through Your Own Grievous Fault’, an essay by Ayn Rand written shortly after Marilyn died.

 

‘My Week With Marilyn’ Q & A

My Week With Marilyn was screened at Hollywood’s Egyptian Theatre, followed by a Q & A with stars Michelle Williams and Kenneth Branagh. Full report by ‘misskelleen’ at LiveJournal’s 1962  fan forum.

Oscar Hopes for Williams, Branagh

Michelle Williams and Kenneth Branagh are both Oscar nominees for their roles in My Week With Marilyn:

Actress In a Leading Role

  • Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
  • Viola Davis, The Help
  • Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
  • Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn
Actor In a Supporting Role
  • Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
  • Jonah Hill, Moneyball
  • Nick Nolte, Warrior
  • Christopher Plummer, Beginners
  • Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close


Michelle Williams: GQ Cover Girl

Michelle Williams is interviewed in February’s GQ, complete with photos by Michael Thompson which are certainly Monroe-inspired.

‘What is so impressive about Williams’s performance as Marilyn Monroe is everything that it is not. Every legendary aspect of Monroe’s that you’d expect is in there somewhere—the vulnerability, the flirtatiousness, the slapstick, the desperation, the oozing sexuality, the wounded fragility, the chronic insecurity—but rather than being overtly played, these are hidden away where they should be, inside a character who Williams manages the near impossible feat of convincing us might once have been an actual human being. The best advice she got before filming began, advice clearly taken, came after she had approached Philip Seymour Hoffman (whom she had appeared with in Synecdoche, New York) and told him, “I’ve committed to this awful thing of playing Marilyn Monroe.” “His advice,” she says, “was: ‘If there’s even a whiff of the icon, things get much less interesting.'”‘

 

 

A photo from Michelle’s earlier session with Brigitte Lacombe is on the cover of German Vogue this month. I think Lacombe’s work is closer to the Marilyn of 1956, though Thompson definitely brings out Williams’ sultry side.

 

Gaultier’s Marilyn-Inspired Gift

A small gossip item, related to Michelle Williams’ victory at the Golden Globe Awards, appears in the New York Daily News:

‘Williams won a Best Actress Globe for her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe in “My Week With Marilyn,” and we hear that last week, fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier sent the actress a Globes good-luck gift that was kinky but apparently effective: one of 60 limited-edition Piper Heidsieck Champagne bottles he’d dressed in a black leather sheath and studded crystal fishnet stockings. Monroe once famously said she began “every morning with a glass” of Piper-Heidsieck.’

Actually, I’m pretty sure Marilyn preferred Dom Perignon. But it’s the thought that counts!