Los Angeles, Nov 20: Almost 50 years after her death, tragic movie icon Marilyn Monroe's star is shining brighter than ever. The release of the film – “My Week With Marilyn” will reveal her bombshell glamour to a new generation of fans.
With Dawson's Creek actress Michelle Williams in the title role, the movie, which comes out on Friday, has been tipped for Oscar glory.
The film, about the making of Monroe's 1957 romp The Prince and the Showgirl, also stars Kenneth Branagh as Sir Laurence Olivier and Scots actor Dougray Scott as Arthur Miller. Williams, 31, admits taking on such an iconic role, gave her cold sweats.
Brokeback Mountain star Michelle, said: "It's the hardest role I've ever done. Most days it was an act of courage to stay on set and not flee." She added: "I tied a belt round my knees to get the wiggle and spent hours watching movies and listening to her voice."
Michelle also reveals playing the star, who was 36 when she died in 1962, was emotionally draining. She said: "I don't think I ever cried so much for somebody I didn't know."
Here, three experts tell HEATHER GREENAWAY the secrets behind Marilyn's enduring allure. Ultimate icon appealed to men and women Alison Bruce, who coruns Scotland's leading modelling agency, Colours, puts the continuing fascination with Marilyn down to sex appeal. Marilyn was simply sex on legs. She was the ultimate in femininity, with her soft curves coupled with an emotional fragility.
Men loved it and wanted to protect her. She was naturally graceful and moved her whole body with an unconscious sexuality, which entranced everyone. She had a flawless feminine look and her pale skinned face was covered in downy hairs, which when photographed, gave her a goddesslike ethereal look. Marilyn had an hourglass figure that men adored. She was never a size 16, which is often quoted.
At her heaviest she was a 14, which would be a size 12 today. She stood out from the rest of the 40s and 50s women, who were stick thin. Her whole package was sexually overt in a time where demure dressing was all the rage. Men wanted Marilyn and women wanted to be her. She is and always will be the ultimate icon.
John Izod, is professor of screen analysis at Stirling University, and puts Marilyn's international appeal down to the mystery that still surrounds her life and death.
To be a true star, you have to be both charismatic and a mystery, and Marilyn was both. Assertions about her enigmatic life, be they positive or negative, have taken on a mythic quality, which will last long after we are all gone. Monroe the myth and Monroe the reality, will always remain legendary. Marilyn excited both men and women. Men loved her because she flaunted her sexuality and babydoll vulnerability. Women loved her style, her grace and her fashion daring. She was shy and coy with men, which didn't frighten them off, yet women understood her underlying intelligence.
Top stylist Lindsay Campbell, is so in love with Marilyn's bombshell look that she even copied it on her wedding day. I'm obsessed with Marilyn Monroe and have watched all her movies and read all the books about her. I love her style so much, I based my whole wedding on her.
She oozes class and always knew what to wear to compliment her hourglass figure. She always wore clothes that nipped her in at the waist, so her bum and bust were seen in all their glory.
I love the wiggle dresses she wore and every time I'm in the States, I trawl the vintage stores, looking for something in her style. Marilyn always wore high heels and even made one heel shorter than the other to accentuate her sexy wiggle. She used to wear girdles to emphasise her shape and stopped women craving the up and down style of Audrey Hepburn. Her look still influences catwalk fashion 50 years on.
But Marilyn was not just a pretty face, she was intelligent and spoke her mind. She was a real woman, who could talk like a man. She was, and is, a legend.