Michelle Williams for Vogue Magazine

Posted on September 16, 2011

Back when it was announced that Michelle Williams was cast as Marilyn Monroe, we opined that we couldn’t think of a better choice because not only is she an excellent actress who will more than likely nail Marilyn’s unusual combination of sensuality, cynicism, and childlike innocence, but that she had the exact right face for it and could, if made up correctly, wind up looking astonishingly like her. Some readers expressed doubts that the somewhat waif-like hipster could pull it off.

Michelle Williams for Vogue MagazineMichelle Williams covers the October issue of Vogue photographed by Annie Leibovitz

We’d say she nailed it, wouldn’t you?

We’re not normally of the opinion that actors in biopics need to look exactly like the people they’re playing. It’s more important that they bring the correct interpretation and level of skill to the role. But Marilyn’s face is among the most iconic faces in history and whenever an actress who didn’t resemble her played the role, it was always terribly distracting to us. Marilyn wasn’t just a blonde wig and a curvy body. She had a face that was, technically, a little unusual for a sex symbol, with her full cheeks and heavily lidded, wide-set eyes – and very much of her time period. The standard modern starlet face of big eyes, prominent cheekbones and almost no facial fat just doesn’t work.

The only thing we don’t think they got quite right in any of the pictures we’ve seen is her eye makeup. Marilyn had heavily penciled brows and a thicker line of eyeliner on her upper lid than we’re seeing here. Aside from that, we think it’s dead-on. The picture of her on the couch looks almost exactly like her. Some of the other pictures, like the one on the rooftop or sitting at the table, seem to be a slightly more modern take on the classic Marilyn look, but some of the shots, if they were in black and white, could easily fool you into thinking you were looking at the real thing.

The film is “My Week with Marilyn,” opening later this month, and we’re really looking forward to seeing this excellent actress tackle the role. We have a feeling she’s going to be amazing.

Michelle Williams for Vogue MagazineJ.Crew cashmere cardigan and wool houndstooth capris.

Michelle Williams for Vogue MagazineEquipment white shirt. Charvet silk scarf. Paul Smith Spectacles sunglasses.

Michelle Williams for Vogue MagazineMichael Kors beaded halter dress.

Michelle Williams for Vogue MagazineMichael Kors shirt. Ralph Lauren Collection wool pencil skirt.

Michelle Williams for Vogue MagazineMichael Kors shirt. Ralph Lauren Collection wool pencil skirt.

Michelle Williams for Vogue MagazineOMO Norma Kamali halter bra. MiH Jeans high-rise jeans.

Michelle Williams for Vogue MagazineDonna Karan New York dress.

Michelle Williams for Vogue MagazineMonique Lhuillier champagne satin dress. Harry Winston diamond drop earrings and bracelet.

 

[Photo Credit: Annie Leibovitz for vogue.com]

    • Anonymous

      Pretty photos, but it just looks like Michelle Williams w/ Marilyn hair to me.  I like the couch shot the best.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2O3ZW6TD4PTPK6EDT7DB2XE2O4 colleen

        I agree. Though I like Michelle Williams as an actress.  I don’t see that distinct sensuality that the role requires. Some of the poses also look awkward.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jude-Brown/1350939326 Jude Brown

          I’m with you, I grew up while Marilyn became, and was, a star.

          And only the couch scene, looks a bit more like Marilyn, without makeup.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jude-Brown/1350939326 Jude Brown

          I’m with you, I grew up while Marilyn became, and was, a star.

          And only the couch scene, looks a bit more like Marilyn, without makeup.

          • Anonymous

            I love Michelle Williams, but the photoshoot & resemblance is dreadful. Where is Marilyn’s characteristic heavy-lidded look & slightly pouting lips? 

            Hair and makeup is a disaster, too. They made her look like an 80s divorcée, not Marilyn Monroe. Kevyn Aucoin, you are sadly missed: http://www.listal.com/list/transformed-celebrities-kevyn-aucoin

            As you say, the couch photo is the only good one. Hopefully she plays the whole movie in profile.

            • http://beautyforrealgirls.blogspot.com/ accidental housewife

              Agreed. In profile, she’s sort of pulling it off, but straight on it’s nor working. There’s no way to say this other than straight out. She’s not beautiful the way Marilyn was. It’s possible, though, that her performance will be good enough that she’ll embody Marilyn’s extra special, intangible thing, and the beauty will come through that way. I’m guessing, because I don’t think I’ve seen a single thing Williams has done.

              I actually think it’s best to not make movies about icons. No movies about Marilyn, Jackie, Elvis, James Dean, John Kennedy, or Elizabeth Taylor, They never work, because each one of those people had a unique charisma that can’t be replicated. It’s the same reason no one can be the next [insert name here], from The Beatles to Meryl Streep.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=786229820 Rhonda Hanson

        this photos are definitely marilyn but i think the cover is terrible. why did they use the new york skyline. i wish vogue we step out of the box for the cover. it should be high fashion covers not the standard photo they use every time.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CNDPMVO4W23R5TVC2QMTJ5BZE Heather

        Agree. I LOVED Gretchen as Bettie Page.

      • Anonymous

        Gretchen Mol was already Bettie Page and she was AMAZING. Perhaps if she hadn’t already been cast as such an iconic figure, she would have made a good choice though.

      • Anonymous

        Gretchen Mol, yes. Great idea.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KA3GJUQKJ6ME4SNM3FGNDD3EJI Jessamyn

        Actually, she reminds me of Debbie Harry in several of these, especially towards the end.

    • Anonymous

      Pretty photos, but it just looks like Michelle Williams w/ Marilyn hair to me.  I like the couch shot the best.

    • Anonymous

      Gorgeous photos (I’d expect no less from Annie Liebovitz). But I think that as much as Michelle resembles Marilyn, she’s not capturing the inner Marilyn. The thing that made her so appealing, and compelling to watch was what was coming from behind her eyes – that inner light or complication or it-factor – and Michelle hasn’t captured that. Maybe it’s impossible to capture. But for that reason, the best picture, I think, it the one of her from behind. THAT one looks exactly like Marilyn (her body language).

      –GothamTomato

    • Anonymous

      Gorgeous photos (I’d expect no less from Annie Liebovitz). But I think that as much as Michelle resembles Marilyn, she’s not capturing the inner Marilyn. The thing that made her so appealing, and compelling to watch was what was coming from behind her eyes – that inner light or complication or it-factor – and Michelle hasn’t captured that. Maybe it’s impossible to capture. But for that reason, the best picture, I think, it the one of her from behind. THAT one looks exactly like Marilyn (her body language).

      –GothamTomato

      • Anonymous

        I completely agree.  Michelle has the look, and I don’t want to say that she looks bad; but she lacks Marilyn’s charisma and the burning flame in the eyes. 

      • Anonymous

        Yes, I thought the same thing.  She does resemble her, but something’s not right with the eyes, beyond the make-up. 

      • Eclectic Mayhem

        Yes, that shot from behind actually made me tear up – Williams has the body language absolutely right.

        My favourite shot of MM was taken by Eve Arnold. Its the one in an airport bathroom where Marilyn has hitched her skirt up around her hips and is brushing her hair.  She looks so lost. 

      • Eclectic Mayhem

        Yes, that shot from behind actually made me tear up – Williams has the body language absolutely right.

        My favourite shot of MM was taken by Eve Arnold. Its the one in an airport bathroom where Marilyn has hitched her skirt up around her hips and is brushing her hair.  She looks so lost. 

        • Anonymous

          Yes, Even Arnold took some of the most natural and iconic pictures of her. They’re the kinds of pictures that would never be taken of an actress of her stature nowadays.

          –GothamTomato

        • Anonymous

          Yes, Even Arnold took some of the most natural and iconic pictures of her. They’re the kinds of pictures that would never be taken of an actress of her stature nowadays.

          –GothamTomato

    • sweetlilvoice

      That photo of her at the room service table is dead on. I can’t wait to see this.

    • sweetlilvoice

      That photo of her at the room service table is dead on. I can’t wait to see this.

    • Anonymous

      Oh wow that couch picture is perfection

    • Anonymous

      Oh wow that couch picture is perfection

    • Anonymous

      Looking at these photos you never forget for a moment that you’re looking at Michelle Williams trying to look like Marilyn. She does a good job but they’d be better off picking an unknown face to play Marilyn. It would have been less distracting.

      • Anonymous

        Perhaps, but would an unknown possess the acting chops needed to play such a multi-faceted personality?
        Marilyn is an icon of such magnitude that it would be impossible to cast someone in this role and not draw strong opinions, both negative and positive. There was only one Marilyn.
        I have a lot of respect for her for taking this on, though; she’s got to know that many people will dislike the choice just on principle.    

        • Anonymous

          I think there are probably a ton of unknown great actresses out there who never get a chance to prove themselves. And while I agree you don’t have to have a total look-alike to play an bio-pic character, when you’re talking about someone who was predominantly know for her looks, it’s important to at least get the right physical type. MW’s body just is never going to pass for Marilyn’s body although she may still do a great job with the part.

          • Anonymous

            Yeah, among other things her calves are distractingly muscled.  There’s nothing to be done about that I suppose, but it’s a shame because I love that smooth late 50s-early 60s curve to the calf.  It was the same with Renee Zellweger in Down With Love; her body was so sinewy and gym-honed, it was hard to focus.  She was no Doris Day-alike, either.

    • Anonymous

      The one on the roof is the one that shows the difference between actresses then and now: We never saw Marilyn’s ribs.

      This isn’t a hate-on-skinny-girls thing. Even a slender girl would not have shown ribs, because weight loss was *done* differently.

    • Anonymous

      OMG no, she looks nothing like Marilyn, sorry. Zero sex appeal, makeup and body all wrong.

    • Sobaika Mirza

      Fantastic. There are certain shots (the balcony, the one on her back with protruding ribs) that look more like Michelle Williams playing dress up, but still.

      Can’t wait to see this film!

    • Anonymous

      Problem is that Michelle Williams does not possess even 1/4 of Monroe’s beauty.    To me, she sort of looks more like Barbara Stanwyck trying to look like Monroe.    Monroe’s face combined sweetness and sensuality.  Williams conveys only the sensuality and consequently, looks hard and a bit coarse.

    • scottyf

      Sorry, I was looking at the coverline on adult ADHD, and forgot what I was doing.

      Funny, I don’t think she looks much like Ms. Monroe at all. I think your point about the eye make up would really help.

      I DO however think she will absolutely nail the performance. She, imho, is one of the most interesting and multi-layered actors of her generation.

    • Anonymous

      Nope. Not seeing Marilyn at all.

    • Anonymous

      I think she definitely has the look, but more importantly I think she will nail the role because there’s a quiet vulnerability about her that I believe will serve her well here. I was astonished at how real her emotions felt in Brokeback Mountain and it was the first time I sat up and took notice of her as an actress. A lesser actress would have faded into the background in that supporting role, but she made it quietly powerful and in my opinion, the best acting job in that movie was hers. 

    • Anonymous

      I think she definitely has the look, but more importantly I think she will nail the role because there’s a quiet vulnerability about her that I believe will serve her well here. I was astonished at how real her emotions felt in Brokeback Mountain and it was the first time I sat up and took notice of her as an actress. A lesser actress would have faded into the background in that supporting role, but she made it quietly powerful and in my opinion, the best acting job in that movie was hers. 

    • Vaniljekjeks

      Perfect!  She really looks amazing. 

    • Anonymous

      Nope, not seeing it. The couch one is good and the back view. But generally she looks too knowing, too grown up. There’s no spark. You’re spot on about the eyebrows, Marilyn usually had a very defined arch.

      • Anonymous

        Your observation about Williams looking too knowing, too grown up sums up my reservations about the photo shoot.  I don’t doubt that Williams is more than capable of a fine performance, but there’s something missing for me.

        I recently watched “Niagara” on TCM, and you simply can’t take your eyes off MM in that movie.  She was one of a kind.

    • http://profiles.google.com/misslauraschultz Laura Schultz

      Huh. Not at ALL working for me. 

    • Anonymous

      this editorial has definitely gotten some flack, but i think its impressive. http://heelsandinspiration.blogspot.com/2011/09/blog-post.html

    • Anonymous

      Honestly I’m not sold on her as Marilyn. Michelle Williams is beautiful and a brilliant actress, but there is a cadence, softness and naivety that Marilyn Monroe possessed that would be difficult for anyone to emulate; especially someone so young.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=719457376 Molly Adrianson

      I love Michelle Williams and I think she’s going to do as good a job as anybody could BUT…I don’t see Marilyn in these pictures either. Marilyn was sweeter, bouncier and glowy and these pictures are dim by comparison. Beautiful shots of Michelle, no doubt, but I agree with another commenter here, an unknown face would have been less distracting.

      • Anonymous

        Yes; Marilyn usually looked delighted to be having her picture taken, and that was part of her charm, that she could look so glamorous and yet so gleeful (when she wasn’t being pensive).  Michelle looks glamorous but there’s no delight.

    • Danny Maza

      not curvy enough, but those are lovely pictures

    • Anonymous

      You guys are so right she did nail that photo shoot and it has me excited about the movie…. can’t wait…

    • http://twitter.com/Teddy_Picker Teddy_Picker

      I loved the casting choice when it was first announced, but these pictures now have me doubting. 

      There’s just no sex appeal. A Marilyn photo is one that you can’t tear your eyes away from or your mind from wandering to naughty place, however, these are just lacking the Va-va-voom that makes the icon.

      The couch shot and behind shot in the garden are spot on though. Keenly interested in the movie as well. 

    • Anonymous

      I rewatched The Misfits a few months ago; I don’t think MM was ever more beautiful than in that film.  The pain and the hope that marked her life gave her a look of unique vulnerability.  She was, in her way, more child than woman. Watching her in that film was heart rending.  I doubt that anyone who had not lived her life could capture that. 

    • Anonymous

      I agree that the resemblance is pretty good, but she’s missing the “It” factor that Marilyn had.  It’s something that happens a lot with Elvis impersonators, too – the ones that look the best often can’t project the sheer force of personality that made Elvis such a good performer.  I’ll be interested to see what she does with the performance, though.  I was really blown away by Cate Blanchette in The Aviator – she didn’t look like Katharine Hepburn at all, but absolutely nailed her speech and mannerisms.  I wonder if this might be the same type of casting.

    • Anonymous

      The shot from the back–barefoot and outdoors–that could definitely be a Marilyn pose!

    • Anonymous

      Nice photo shoot, but this girl is a mere shadow of Marilyn. Michelle is paying lip service but Monroe’s exquisite and powerful sexuality is totally missing.

    • http://twitter.com/thedogsmother thedogsmother

      Would Marilyn Monroe ever allow herself to be professionally photographed with an inch of dark roots showing?

    • MilaXX

      I want to see this. For me it’s not so much the look of an actress because good hair and makeup can really transform most actors. It’s the acting skill that makes me buy the performance. These are pretty pics and II agree the promo clips I’ve seen do have a slightly modern twist, but something about this makes me interested to see how all the parts come together.

    • BerlinerNYC

      Wow, ok, I’m officially a convert. I have been seeing pictures of her with that bleached hair and frankly thought she not only didn’t look like Marilyn, she looked like a much less attractive Michelle. These photos are beautiful and haunting, and I love what’s been done with the color to create the “vintage” effect (even if it’s something you could do on your iPhone with Instagram or whatever, THIS is an appropriate use of Photoshop, unlike the horrors we often discuss here).

    • Rachel Sawyer

      Michelle looks good, but–pardon the heresy–I am utterly sick of Marilyn Monroe and the starlets who cite her as a role model.

    • Anonymous

      What’s with those ROOTS!!!

    • http://www.myblackfriendsays.com myblackfriendsays

      I think she’ll do really well. I really liked her in Brokeback Mountain.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C65IT4K6RYN4TWRMFJOI3VUDAI Olechka Milashka

      Her lips are too thin and she’s missing that playful spark MM had in her eyes

    • mrspeel2

      As you may recall, I was more in favor of Poppy Montgomery for the role and after seeing these pix, I stand by my opinion. On top of the fact that, at least in these photos, she doesn’t look at all like Marilyn, I don’t ever recall Marilyn posing when she needed a root touch-up.

      Perhaps when we actually see the movie Michelle will nail the performance but in print, she’s just not conveying that unmistakeable MM persona.

    • Anonymous

      She gets Marilyn’s vulnerability, but none of her flaunting sex appeal. Most images of Marilyn have her looking straight to camera with a ‘come hither’ look in her eyes and a deliberate pout. Even as a straight woman I can see that. Michelle Williams doesn’t have that quality AT ALL. 

    • Anonymous

      The only actress that I ever thought could play Marilyn was Virginia Madsen. She’s probably too old for that now. :(

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=513945580 Megan Patterson

      OMG the picture on the couch is AMAZING.

    • Rebecca Johnson

      Marilyn Monroe was really one-of-a-kind, so no modern actress is going to be able to capture her essence – it’s almost unfair to ask one to try. I’ll reserve judgement on Michelle Williams until I see her on screen, but these pictures are not doing for me. What really comes through in photos of Marilyn is that she was intensely present and vivacious toward the camera. These resemble photos of Michelle Williams pretending to live the life of Marilyn Monroe, not embodying her.
      http://www.barewalls.com/i/c/496040_Marilyn-Monroe–Sitting.jpg
      http://www.posters.ws/images/311672/marilyn_monroe_gentlemen_prefer_blondes.jpg
      http://www.posters.ws/images/311672/marilyn_monroe_gentlemen_prefer_blondes.jpg
      http://www.twirlit.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Marilyn-Monroe-2.jpg
      http://dailydivadish.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/milton-h-greene-marilyn-monroe-ballet-dancer-148389.jpg

      • Anonymous

        I love candid Marilyn, so I really find the glam photos uncomfortable.  Of your links, I love the first and ADORE the fourth.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jessica-TallGirl-Freeman/1043623567 Jessica TallGirl Freeman

      I’d have to say she just doesn’t have Marilyn’s sensuality.  Michelle is a brilliant actress, but nothing most would categorize as a sex symbol.  And her eye make up is definitely not right, I noticed that off the bat.  And really… what is up with the roots?  Did they not say it was Vogue?  Marilyn would never!

    • Anonymous

      ehhhh, I know it would be impossible to have an exact facsimile of MM, but she just looks like she’s dressing up for an elaborate Halloween shoot. Hell, Pauley Perrette made a more convincing Marylin.

    • Anonymous

      They’re really nice pictures but I don’t get the Marilyn vibe much at all. Just from the one from the back and maybe one of the ones in the Monique L. gown. She just doesn’t have the juiciness of Marilyn, the quality that made someone say of her, “She looked as if milk and honey would flow from her if you took a bite of her.” I’ll wait to see what the reviews say before seeing the movie, because I think Michelle Williams is a really great actor. 

    • Anonymous

      Wow… she did nail it.  Especially the picture in the Donna Karan.  I had to remind myself that is NOT Marilyn.  Amazing.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matthew-Vella/666619877 Matthew Vella

      These pictures show a beautiful withdrawn woman. Marilyn Monroe was bubbly, sweet and sexual. Williams lacks that ‘perky’ness. 

      I honestly think Christina Hendricks would have been great as Marilyn. She’s much taller but has a very very similar face and most importantly, she has a similar vibe which is the most important thing of all.

    • http://postsomethingcreative.blogspot.com Nicole

      I think she looks like a modern interpretation of Marilyn.  She’s so thin, much thinner than Marilyn was, and I think the curves really made her what she was.  Would Miss Joan Holloway be the same if played by a little wispy thing like January?  I’m not advocating she should have gained weight for the role, just that maybe they should have tried to find someone with a little more meat, because that is what distracts me the most.

    • Anonymous

      She looks great, but she’s not channeling Marilyn. She looks more like a child playing dress-up.

    • http://profiles.google.com/gillianholroyd gillian holroyd

      Just look at the final four shots in the Monique Lhuillier satin dress and diamond drop earrings . That’s an uber-Marilyn look but I don’t think she’s nailed it. She isn’t showing Marilyn’s vulnerability; she looks like a bored housewife at a cocktail party. 

      But it’s just a photo shoot, probably done under chaotic conditions and not a living, breathing movie.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QCJEZMOV4VYMXC5WJALLZNYEB4 Mari Rose

      I really like Michelle Williams as an actress and I feel like this is a step down for her.

      I mean, come on. When is this Monroe fetish going to end? Let’s face it – she was basically the Lindsay Lohan of her day. An actress with some potential but an absolute trainwreck of a human being who does not deserve to be propped up as an icon like this.

      • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

        I for one don’t believe this “fetish” will ever end.  MM was iconic – funny, smart, vulnerable, scared, sexy, sultry – and those of us who love her probably won’t ever stop.  Her acting was instinctual.  It is fascinating to watch.  If she was a “trainwreck of a human being”, it was not of her doing so much as her trusting those around her.

        • Anonymous

           And from being contracted to absolutely the wrong studio at the wrong time. I am not a huge Monroe fan, but she had real acting talent and she had “it.” . Lohan? In 20 years, will people even know who she is/was?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QCJEZMOV4VYMXC5WJALLZNYEB4 Mari Rose

      I really like Michelle Williams as an actress and I feel like this is a step down for her.

      I mean, come on. When is this Monroe fetish going to end? Let’s face it – she was basically the Lindsay Lohan of her day. An actress with some potential but an absolute trainwreck of a human being who does not deserve to be propped up as an icon like this.

    • http://profiles.google.com/thisiscelia Celia

      I agree with you guys. The eye makeup is all wrong. The best shots are the ones of her look downwards, where her lids look heavier. That said, Williams is an astonishing actress and I don’t doubt she will be amazing as Marilyn.

    • http://profiles.google.com/thisiscelia Celia

      I agree with you guys. The eye makeup is all wrong. The best shots are the ones of her look downwards, where her lids look heavier. That said, Williams is an astonishing actress and I don’t doubt she will be amazing as Marilyn.

    • Anonymous

      Other than the hair, I don’t see anything in these rather disappointing photos that evokes Marilyn.   

    • Anonymous

      Other than the hair, I don’t see anything in these rather disappointing photos that evokes Marilyn.   

    • Anonymous

      She looks great. The couch picture is just gorgeous.

    • http://naturallyeducational.com/ CandaceApril

      Not feeling it.  Marilyn had a teasing quality to her.  There was an intelligence that was hidden…but not completely.  Michelle’s intelligence is too self-evident.  Also, Michelle looks beautiful and healthy but the lack of curves takes away from the sensuality.  Part of Marilyn’s breathtaking image was her actual breathlessness from trying to contain all that voluptuous flesh.  I agree that you do not have to have the look 100% but in this case the image is the substance…and Michelle is a more modern beautiful woman.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3AJ237ND3GAHDQJZ4TLCO4WLRA Emily

      Can’t wait to see the movie.  She looks great.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think she looks a lot like Marilyn Monroe, but I know she’s a very good actress and that’s the most important quality going into this type of role – she needs to bring herself into it and not just do a MM impersonation that any drag queen could do.  If the look-a-like thing was so important then whoever played MM in the Jack Rabbit Slim scene in Pulp Fiction would have been the best portral ever.

    • Anonymous

      I disagree. She’s white and platinum like ice. Marilyn was white and platinum like heat.

      • Anonymous

        I couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong with these photos.  When I read your comment, I thought, That’s it exactly!

        Very well said!

      • Judy_J

        Exactly.  The camera loved Marilyn, and she knew just how to play it up.  Ms Williams is pretty, but she doesn’t have the oomph that Marilyn had.

    • Anonymous

      the cover shot reads ……”Like this? You want me to look this way, is that it? Did I do it right? You want me to lean forward a bit, OK, hows this? Like that?”   I’m also thinking we went a little heavy on the dark roots….

    • Anonymous

      I think these pictures are lovely.  I probably won’t see the movie on its first run unless it’s absolutely *the* film of the year because I don’t have the same affection for MM.  However, I’ve got to say that (and all of this is IMHO, of course) MM didn’t even have the curves that we all think she did.  She was a petite creature with a lovely figure; she knew and calculated exactly what to wear in films to look fantastically curvy; she was also always “on” (poor thing) when interviewed on camera and nearly always when photographed and none of us out here knows who she really was.  It was part of her movie star allure.  I would think it will be hard for anyone to play *real* Marilyn for that reason.  But a good enough actress is going to present us with her ideas on her, and so I wish MW all the luck in the world with it because you just know there will be people who get all over this from a “she doesn’t look like her” or “she’s not sexy enough” angle.  A brave choice, I say.

    • Anonymous

      i know lots of people are very protective of Marilyn.  there was only one but if this movie happens to be good & it protrays her correctly then i think its good for her fans. 

    • Anonymous

      Those roots are really distracting!  They look horrible!

    • fragileindustries

      I agree that actors in biopics need not be clones of the original if they capture the essence of the person.  Frank Langella in “Frost/Nixon” comes to mind.  For the first 10 minutes, the visual conflict between the iconic face and the face seen on the screen is noticable until the portrayal replaces the icon.  By the end of “Frost/Nixon” I was sure I was watching Nixon himself, and if Nixon didn’t look exactly like that, he should have.  Philip Seymour Hoffman was an even farther reach as Capote, but he nailed it too.  Hope Michele accomplishes the same for Marilyn.  There’s no way to tell from still pictures.

      • Anonymous

        Frank Langella was robbed of his Oscar!!!  Sorry, still not over it…

    • Anonymous

      Nope. I only see Michelle Williams in Marilyn drag. That’s not a comment on how well she may be able to play the role, but she doesn’t look like Norma Jean.

    • Anonymous

      Nope. I only see Michelle Williams in Marilyn drag. That’s not a comment on how well she may be able to play the role, but she doesn’t look like Norma Jean.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sneslusan Sal Neslusan

      The most exciting thing about these photos is that they’re an actress’ interpretation of a character. philip seymour hoffman doesn’t look EXACTLY like truman capote, but his portrayal let us into the life of the man behind the stereotype– behind how hollywood wanted everyone to see them. The same goes for movies like “Milk” or “Howl” or even “Julie and Julia” Yes, she may not be exactly Marilyn, but thats precisely the point. Marilyn was one of a kind, and this movie is an attempt to see a different side of her.   

    • https://me.yahoo.com/a/dLUE.9h6zdoHMLprP6AQrSQpKt0CZys-#e58b4 tom

      No I’m afraid that no matter how talented an actress may be I just don’t see how she  could capture Marilyn.  Although it was right before her death there  is a short video of her for costume and  make up tests for the uncompleted “Something’s Got to Give”.  She’s wearing a black/white print spagetti strapped dress and a studding bouffant hair style.  I don’t think that I ever seen her look more beautiful.  There is just something about her that can’t be captured. 

    • http://twitter.com/RobertSanchez36 Robert Sanchez

      It’s not literal Marilyn of the ’50s/’60s period, but a more modern version. She does look nice, though.

    • Brenda Williams

      I don’t see it myself.

    • Toto Maya

      I’m sick of people throwing a blonde wig and white makeup on women and then pretending they look like Marilyn Monroe. Michelle Williams looks nothing like her. I would look just as much like her if you threw that makeup and hair on me. This isn’t a criticism of Michelle Williams, of course, she is a great and beautiful actress, I just think this, “SHE LOOKS LIKE MARILYN LOOK AT THE WIG” thing has been done to death.

    • Anonymous

      I hope she was paying attention during this shoot and will remember next time she’s on the red carpet that there are other things to do in front of a camera besides squinch up your mouth like you’ve been offered a lemon.

    • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

      No, she didn’t nail it in the least.  IF she had put on about 20 pounds, it MIGHT have worked.  Of course, what actress is going to put on 20 pounds for a role?  The makeup is close, but no cigar.  Marilyn was irreplaceable and is unreproduceable.

      • http://twitter.com/wrenaria Kimmy Hescock

        Put on weight? Really? Marilyn’s waist was like 23ish inches…. She was by no means a large woman. And you can’t go by dress size – sizing from the 50s is not at all the same as sizing is today.

        • http://profiles.google.com/trashilove { edi } ilovetrash

          her weight went up & down all the time. if yr thinking niagra, yes. if yr thinking some like it hot, no.

          still, yes, the sizing was different. i’m a vintage dealer, i do know. the easiest equivalent is saying that the size 16 people like to think MM wore is close to a current size 10. no, it’s not a size 16 as we know it but it isnt a size 0-2 either. &, as above, no, it’s not what she always wore but it is what she wore sometimes. i cant see her ever in a 0-2, maybe a 4. but like so many people, now, then, before then & after now, she travelled.

        • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

          I agree with you that Marilyn wasn’t a large woman.  But she was curvy and voluptuous, and Michelle Williams isn’t.

    • Rachelle Neame

      That couch shot- my goodness. Props to Michelle Williams for not only being able to be dressed up as Marilyn, but truly embodying a sense of Marilyn being caught reading on her couch. It just pops to be in terms of realness.

    • Anonymous

      In the rooftop one, she looks very much like the dancer/stripper in the Twilight Zone ep “22.”

      • http://profiles.google.com/trashilove { edi } ilovetrash

        23, oh 23. “room for one more, honey.”
        my exhusband & i were both born on the 23d & this detail was very important to us before we reached legal drinking age, so i remember it & that absolutely.

        • Anonymous

          Sorry to correct you…I’ve seen an excessive number of TZ marathons!

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty_Two_(The_Twilight_Zone)

          • http://profiles.google.com/trashilove { edi } ilovetrash

            oh for heavens sake, thats been stuck in my head for almost thirty years.
            & i am a pretty precise person. very weird.

    • http://twitter.com/wrenaria Kimmy Hescock

      The couch picture is really really lovely – but otherwise she looks more like she’s channeling Kim Cattrall than Marilyn. *shrug*

      (On that note, I never noticed how similar Kim and Michelle’s faces are until this post.)

    • Anonymous

      Not bad, but I’ve never, ever seen anyone really pull off the Marilyn Monroe look. No one looks like her, and no one can be made to look like her. There was something about the arrangement of MM’s features that I’ve never seen in anyone before or since. She deserves her icon status.

      I’m sure Williams will do a great job, but she won’t be Marilyn. It almost seems a disservice to her to set her up for the comparison.

    • Anonymous

      Sorry guys, wrong on this one. I dont think she nailed it at all. She looks like she is playing dress up.  Some like it hot, but few like it cool…….

    • Anonymous

      I think she looks good. But she looks like yet another actress trying to look like Marilyn Monroe, rather than nailing it. She’s just not…. lush enough, I guess. It takes more than careful styling. MM radiated something powerful, intimate and ineffable to the camera that isn’t happening here.

      • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

        “Lush” – exactly!

    • http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=lf UltimaEsperenza

      She.  Looks.  NOTHING.  Like.  Marilyn.  NOTHHHHIIINNNGGG.

    • Presumptuous Insect

      She doesn’t look much like Marilyn, and I think that they could have used make-up to do more with that, but the photos do manage to recreate the feeling of that era.  Also, wow, what a figure.

    • Anonymous

      I think Michelle Williams is incredibly talented, but these do not look like Marilyn to me.  The only picture that could fool you is the one from behind.  The face just isn’t right, but if her performance is right, I won’t care too much.

    • http://profiles.google.com/trashilove { edi } ilovetrash

      to me, the only one that hits the right pitch is the one where she’s wearing donna karan. most of the rest just look too hard & modern.

      i, also, dont care if the face matches the character that much if the acting is good. i hands down loved anthony hopkins as richard nixon & two people who look less alike would be hard to find. i like michelle williams, i think she will probably do a good job.

    • http://profiles.google.com/trashilove { edi } ilovetrash

      to me, the only one that hits the right pitch is the one where she’s wearing donna karan. most of the rest just look too hard & modern.

      i, also, dont care if the face matches the character that much if the acting is good. i hands down loved anthony hopkins as richard nixon & two people who look less alike would be hard to find. i like michelle williams, i think she will probably do a good job.

    • Anonymous

      Sorry, guys…she did not nail this at all…terribly miscast and the make up and hair is all wrong…and Michelle certainly doesn’t have the face and body either.  I have seen female impersonators pull off a more convincing Marilyn Monroe (look up Jimmy James on YouTube if you doubt me). Besides this is going straight to video, the last thing the public wants is another bad movie about MM with an actress that doesn’t even look like her…as if that disaster with Mira Sorvino and Ashley Judd wasn’t enough. Hollywood should let MM rest in peace. They exploited her enough while she was alive.

      • http://profiles.google.com/trashilove { edi } ilovetrash

        i agree. i hadnt realized it was going straight to dvd. i figured it was better w/ michelle williams than one or another of the generally more anonymous than they think they are or at least in future lost to history starlets that currently identify w/ MM, lindsay lohan being the best known. the equation i think i’m hot & she was hot so i=her is not one that, how we all once said in more innocent times, computes. still, distressing news all around.

      • http://profiles.google.com/trashilove { edi } ilovetrash

        i agree. i hadnt realized it was going straight to dvd. i figured it was better w/ michelle williams than one or another of the generally more anonymous than they think they are or at least in future lost to history starlets that currently identify w/ MM, lindsay lohan being the best known. the equation i think i’m hot & she was hot so i=her is not one that, how we all once said in more innocent times, computes. still, distressing news all around.

      • http://profiles.google.com/trashilove { edi } ilovetrash

        i agree. i hadnt realized it was going straight to dvd. i figured it was better w/ michelle williams than one or another of the generally more anonymous than they think they are or at least in future lost to history starlets that currently identify w/ MM, lindsay lohan being the best known. the equation i think i’m hot & she was hot so i=her is not one that, how we all once said in more innocent times, computes. still, distressing news all around.

      • http://profiles.google.com/trashilove { edi } ilovetrash

        i agree. i hadnt realized it was going straight to dvd. i figured it was better w/ michelle williams than one or another of the generally more anonymous than they think they are or at least in future lost to history starlets that currently identify w/ MM, lindsay lohan being the best known. the equation i think i’m hot & she was hot so i=her is not one that, how we all once said in more innocent times, computes. still, distressing news all around.

      • http://profiles.google.com/trashilove { edi } ilovetrash

        i agree. i hadnt realized it was going straight to dvd. i figured it was better w/ michelle williams than one or another of the generally more anonymous than they think they are or at least in future lost to history starlets that currently identify w/ MM, lindsay lohan being the best known. the equation i think i’m hot & she was hot so i=her is not one that, how we all once said in more innocent times, computes. still, distressing news all around.

    • Anonymous

      I so want to see it but I just don’t- it looks like Michelle Williams styled as Marilyn, not even playing a character to my eyes! I love Michelle Williams but I disagree that she’s the best young actress to play Marilyn. I’ve yet to see any side by side of her and MM that shows her bringing it.

    • Anne Lucchesi

      Weird. I’m totally seeing Kim Cattrall here. That hair ages the heck out of her. Esp. in the rooftop pic.

      • Helen C

        KIm Cattrall would actually make a better Marilyn, despite her age.  

    • Anonymous

      Sorry T&L; I usually totally agree with your take, but not this time around. As far as the face goes, there is none of MM’s softness or voluptuousness — especially in the Vogue cover, which almost tends toward the Ethel Mertz.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1007327979 Sara Frankart Finn

      I’m baffled at how they could get the eye liner and brows SO wrong – that makeup was Marilyn’s signature, any self-respecting make-up artist should know that, right?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1007327979 Sara Frankart Finn

      I’m baffled at how they could get the eye liner and brows SO wrong – that makeup was Marilyn’s signature, any self-respecting make-up artist should know that, right?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1007327979 Sara Frankart Finn

      I’m baffled at how they could get the eye liner and brows SO wrong – that makeup was Marilyn’s signature, any self-respecting make-up artist should know that, right?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1007327979 Sara Frankart Finn

      I’m baffled at how they could get the eye liner and brows SO wrong – that makeup was Marilyn’s signature, any self-respecting make-up artist should know that, right?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1007327979 Sara Frankart Finn

      I’m baffled at how they could get the eye liner and brows SO wrong – that makeup was Marilyn’s signature, any self-respecting make-up artist should know that, right?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=564839755 Jillian Liszewski

      She looks a lot like Mira Sorvino to me in these pictures, at least.  I like her acting ability, so I think she’ll do well.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=564839755 Jillian Liszewski

      She looks a lot like Mira Sorvino to me in these pictures, at least.  I like her acting ability, so I think she’ll do well.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=564839755 Jillian Liszewski

      She looks a lot like Mira Sorvino to me in these pictures, at least.  I like her acting ability, so I think she’ll do well.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=564839755 Jillian Liszewski

      She looks a lot like Mira Sorvino to me in these pictures, at least.  I like her acting ability, so I think she’ll do well.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=564839755 Jillian Liszewski

      She looks a lot like Mira Sorvino to me in these pictures, at least.  I like her acting ability, so I think she’ll do well.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think that this photo spread was designed to be a Marilyn-impersonator re-creation.  Vogue tends to jump on whatever an actress is doing and then do something similar, but not EXACT.  I don’t think everyone can judge Michelle’s as-yet-unseen performance based on this shoot.  I DO appreciate the ode to Arthur Miller with the nerdy-cute male model in a couple of the pics.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think that this photo spread was designed to be a Marilyn-impersonator re-creation.  Vogue tends to jump on whatever an actress is doing and then do something similar, but not EXACT.  I don’t think everyone can judge Michelle’s as-yet-unseen performance based on this shoot.  I DO appreciate the ode to Arthur Miller with the nerdy-cute male model in a couple of the pics.

    • vmcdanie

      I LOVE Michelle Williams and I agree, inspired casting. She can bring such painful sadness to her roles. She was amazing in Wendy and Lucy (a movie so devastating I’m not sure I can sit through it again.)

    • http://rockiinboxxe.blogspot.com/ KUR COL DE DAAB E NUBA

      It just aint workin. Just aint workin 

    • Anonymous

      This Wiliams as Monroe is just the worst casting ever. No. just no.

    • Anonymous

      This Wiliams as Monroe is just the worst casting ever. No. just no.

    • Helen C

      She looks really sad and worn-out, which is not what Marilyn Monroe was known for.  Even when her private life sucked, Marilyn always looked sensual and innocent at the same time; it’s her crafted image.  Michelle just looks like the usual Michelle Williams character, worn out, sad, and trying too hard.  

      In fact, this is almost Alma Del Mar (her Brokeback Mountain character) getting a make-over from Laureen Twist (Anne Hatheway’s bleached blonde Texas big hair rich lady character in Brokeback Mountain)

    • Anonymous

      Whenever I think of Marilyn Monroe, I think of Alyson Hannigan. Not that I’m suggesting that Hannigan would be a good choice to play Monroe – there are are many things that wouldn’t fit quite right – but because she has those qualities of sweetness and exuberance, and a little bit of that ‘juiciness’ that someone mentioned above.

      I don’t see Marilyn Monroe at all in these pictures of Michelle Williams, sorry. Any actress can put on a platinum blond wig and say they look like Marilyn. Many actresses could do an imitation of of Monroe’s mannerisms. But as many have said, where Williams is lacking (besides not being voluptuous enough) is in the eyes.

      I realize this is just a photo shoot and not the film itself, but she is clearly ‘playing’ Monroe in this pictures, and it doesn’t work for me. Look at her in the rooftop photo – she looks like she’s trying to imitate Monroe’s come-hither stare, but instead she just looks like she’s about to fall asleep. And the photos at the bottom – are her lips parted that way meant to be sexual? Because instead she just looks like she’s getting ready to bite you, and not in a friendly way.

      I don’t think this is about Williams having too recognizable a face. I think she’s just wrong for the part. Even the greatest actors and actresses in the world aren’t right for every part.

      I also don’t think any actor or actress has to perfectly capture the spirit of the person they’re playing – that’s always impossible, I think, as everyone is one-of-a-kind. But they can throw you enough of a line that you’re ready, willing, and able to suspend your disbelief to pretend you’re watching the person in question. If Michelle Williams does that for some people, more power to them. But I have my doubts that she’s going to be able to do that for me.

      • Anonymous

        I bet Ayson Hannigan would do an awesome Rosemary Clooney.

    • Anonymous

      No.  Just no.  Williams is a fine actress, but, at least in these stills, she has nothing of Monroe’s physicality.  I don’t mean a physical resemblance.  I know I’m not going to express this well, but Monroe used every bit of her body as means of expression and it always looked effortless, natural  There is nothing of that here.  Nothing of the softness and sweetness of her face and figure, the vulnerability of her eyes.  Williams looks haunted and a little hard, but it’s not the right look. Wrong.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VA5XLSF3QRELSC3MUFSXLP4EIE rebecca

      No Marilyn for me. She looks like Dolores Gray from “It’s Always Fair Weather.”

    • Anonymous

      I see Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe through a Janye Mansfield filter.

      She’s convincing enough but she really looks more like Jayne than Marilyn.

    • Anonymous

      The couch picture and the one from behind are a definite “yes”. The cover is fine but it’s not my favorite shot. Marilyn, as everyone well knows, had some intangible quality that I think is nearly impossible to capture. I don’t know if Michelle can pull it off, though she is a fine actress, but I hope so.

      • Lisa

        I completely agree about the couch and from behind pictures.  On those, I’d say yes.  But her face is still bothering me – there’s too much world-weariness there, and not nearly enough wide-eyed vulnerability. I’m really going to have to see her on film to see if she can pull it off.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WPBQ3ENNLHZ2JFP5TNO2A6T7N4 DinwiddieL

      She looks nothing like Marilyn.  In addition,  Marilyn was much more beautiful.

    • http://profiles.google.com/phyllis.craine Phyllis Craine

      The dark roots throw me…Marilyn was careful like Gwen Stefani is today when it comes to making sure there were no photos of her with dark roots.

    • http://profiles.google.com/phyllis.craine Phyllis Craine

      The dark roots throw me…Marilyn was careful like Gwen Stefani is today when it comes to making sure there were no photos of her with dark roots.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Luke-Thomas/100001097142086 Luke Thomas

      I wonder if the film is going to include her marriage to Arthur Miller.  The actor that appears in some of the photos is definitely styled as him.   I think Michelle Williams resembles later, more langorous Marilyn, though.

    • Anonymous

      These photos aren’t good at all. She looks less like Marilyn in these photos than she does in her regular clothes and make-up. She looks hard and calculating in a way that MM never did, and in a way that she herself never does either. An unfortunate kind of photographic alchemy there.

      Having said that, Cate Blanchett looks absolutely NOTHING like Katherine Hepburn and yet watching her in The Aviator who didn’t see Hepburn? She had the voice, the mannerisms, the body language, the attitude  and the actor’s insight to play the part, even without making any real effort to reproduce Hepburn’s unique face. Also agree with the already mentioned examples ofFrank Langella as Nixon and P.S. Hoffman as Capote  (and I would add Gary Busey as Buddy Holly, and probably even more striking, Barbra Streisand as Fanny Brice) – you don’t have to look exactly like the person if you capture the rest of who they are.  I expect Michelle Williams to do very well as MM – too bad these photos are not helping me to suspend my disbelief.

    • Susan Crawford

      Of all the contemporary actresses, I suppose Michelle Williams is about the best choice in terms of “the basics” needed to bring about that ineffable Marilyn look. But let’s face it – even with the greatest of make-up, hair style and wardrobe to inch her closer, she is NOT nailing this. Only Marilyn was Marilyn, is Marilyn and always WILL be Marilyn. Projecting that iridescent mix of sex, girl-next-door, wounded little fawn and hard-as-nails temptress is one hell of a task. Even Marilyn herself ultimately lost the struggle. But I will say that these photos are devastatingly lovely, and Michelle Williams looks fabulous. It’s see her with a lot less waifishness and a lot more womanly glamour.

    • Mariah J

      I understand it’s because of the movie and that’s fine but in general I am SO TIRED of Marilyn photo shoots. Are there no original ideas left out there? “Oh there’s a new starlet who’s slightly curvy, lets dress her up like Marilyn and do a photo shoot”

    • http://twitter.com/Alloyjane Alloy Jane

      Alas, not at all.  Aside from the terrible roots, there is none of the innocence or sparkle that Marilyn had.  I don’t know who Michelle Williams is, but I hope she does a better job in the movie than she did in this photo shoot.  The only image of her that doesn’t seem completely contrived is the one on the couch.  But like has already been mentioned, as good as that shot is, it’s still calculated.  In short, it’s not just that she doesn’t LOOK like Marilyn, it’s that she does not EXUDE Marilyn.

      Why isn’t Drew Barrymore playing this part?  Call me crazy, but she has a lot of the type of charm that made Marilyn unique.  There’s a youthfulness to her that stylized appropriately, would recall Marilyn very much.  She wouldn’t have to do anything annoying to her voice to get Marilyn’s natural breathiness, and she has that something special about her. 

      I’ve never seen Madmen so I don’t know what sort of actress she is, but what about Christina Hendricks?  In every picture I’ve seen of her, she seethes sexiness.  Even when she’s doing dumb things to her boobs or looks like a sloppy mess, she’s still sexy.  She also has that innocence, that slight absence of self-awareness that makes you want to pat her on the head and say, “There, there.  You’ll figure it out some day.”

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FLFMDIAEGTIKAP2576XJKCZCV4 BeckyS

      She is pretty ( and has nice skin and curves)  but cannot hold a “candle” to Marilyn– the mouth is wrong, the eyes are wrong , and the nostrils are wrong- it’s sort of like Jackie O – I always cringe, when someone plays her too, because they never look like her.  I just do not see this casting at all. Maybe when we see a video clip, it will come to life. 

    • Anonymous

      This is going to sound egotistic, but in many of these pictures I see…myself the morning after a rough night at a costume party.  Good work! 

    • Anonymous

      Sorry, no. She did not nail it. It’s not a matter of superficial facial resemblance. Her eyes are vacant and dull. Marilyn Monroe, even at her most out-of-it, had that spark in her eyes. I am disappointed.

    • http://twitter.com/qrter Alexander Peterhans

      No, sorry, she doesn’t look very convincing.

    • Anonymous

      Sure, take issue with the shoot and the styling and the physical resemblance, but why not wait until you see the movie to assess her ability to embody Marilyn?

      Also – these aren’t movie stills, this is a shoot for Vogue; I’m assuming that the direction here was not necessarily to channel Marilyn directly.  These spreads are ultimately intended to make you want to buy the clothes, not preview a movie.  

      Just my opinion.

    • Anonymous

      Pretty pictures, but she doesn’t look dead-on exactly like MM.  I think she actually looks a little like Kelly McGillis c.Top Gun.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1540233153 Malve Lyborg

      No. But she could play british singer Kim Wilde in a minute. Remember her song “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”? Middle of the eighties?

      http://www.google.de/search?q=kim+wilde&hl=de&biw=1680&bih=867&prmd=imvnsol&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=K1h3ToKoK_LE4gT6poizDQ&sqi=2&ved=0CEEQsAQ

    • frankystein123

      Fabulous.