First glimpse of Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe
The first stills have surfaced from the set of My Week with Marilyn, a Marilyn Monroe biopic in which Michelle Williams plays the iconic blonde bombshell. As you can see from the photo on the left (click to enlarge) Williams looks gorgeous with those famous cherry red lips and accompanying dimple, and the resemblance is striking.
Helmed by British TV director Simon Curtis, My Week with Marilyn chronicles – as its title suggests – a week in the life of Monroe. It is set during the production of The Prince and the Showgirl (1957) as the star momentarily absconds from Hollywood and discovers the pleasures of 1950s Britain. The “my” of the title refers to 23-year-old Colin Clack (Edie Redmayne), one of Showgirl’s production assistants.
My Week with Marilyn’s supporting cast includes Judi Dench, Kenneth Branagh and Emma Watson. As the Harry Potter franchise wraps up, Watson will no doubt do her best to avoid the Luke Skywalker/Mark Hamill curse of being forever remembered as one character (in this case Potter’s is-she-or-isn’t-she love interest Hermione Granger). It is generally easier for young actors to elude such typecast; they simply have more years to do it.
Monroe is still regarded as one of the world’s most potent sex symbols and is a timeless figure of Hollywood’s “play hard die young” ethos. An awful lot of barrage comes with the role, an awful lot of expectations.
Williams isn’t the only actor who will attempt to mimic the retro star’s looks and mannerisms. Naomi Watts has also signed on to play Monroe in Blonde, a broader biopic based on a fictional account of her life by author Joyce Carol Oates. Blonde is of particular interest given its director is Australian Andrew Dominik, who made the tremendous Chopper (2000) and the impressive The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007), which was every bit as long and windy as its title.
Compare the still of Williams above to this image of Naomi Watts and it’s easy to see who is more physically suited to the role. Watts may be a more accomplished actor, with loads of memorable high impact performances (Mulholland Drive  and 21 Grams  instantly come to mind) but Williams’s fuller figure is more in line with Monroe’s sumptuous beauty, so purely on a physical level she has a leg up.
Another still is available for a sticky beak of Williams/Monroe on the sidewalk, which demonstrates My Week with Marilyn’s grasp of the old time phenomenon known as “perky breasts.”