When it was announced that the skinny, petite-framed Michelle Williams was cast to portray Marilyn Monroe in the upcoming film, My Week With Marilyn, the blogosphere exploded with negative criticism. People claimed Williams wasn't physically designed for the role— that she was too thin to portray the curvy, sexy film star, and could never pull it off.
Now, Williams, 31, graces the cover of Vogue in a near-perfect impersonation of the troubled sex goddess. So what did she do to pull off the transformation? She tells the magazine that she tried to match the star's curvy physique by gaining weight, but confided that all the pounds went straight to her face. Instead, she used padding to get the added Monroe-esque vivaciousness she needed. The effect was immediate.
"I remember one moment of being all suited up as Marilyn and walking from my dressing room onto the soundstage practicing my wiggle," she says. "There were three or four men gathered around a truck, and I remember seeing that they were watching me come and feeling that they were watching me go—and for the very first time I glimpsed some idea of the pleasure I could take in that kind of attention; not their pleasure but my pleasure. And I thought, Oh, maybe Marilyn felt that when she walked down the beach." 5 Love Lessons From Marilyn Monroe
She also feels embodying Marilyn changed her personality, noting that she's not "as shy or nervous or self-conscious" as before. Certainly some of those feelings could have been associated with the sudden death of her former fiancé and father of her child, Heath Ledger, in 2008. She tells Vogue that she and her daughter, Matilda, 5, have come a long way:
"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. [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." Michelle Williams Opens Up About Heath Ledger's Death
It's ironic that the troubled Marilyn can now, many years later, have such a positive effect on someone. It just goes to show that we can all learn something from the bombshell Hollywood icon, and it can be a good thing.
Do you have someone in your life who inspires you to feel sexy and confident?
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