This isn’t the first time Williams has posed as Marilyn: she appeared in a haunting promo shot for her upcoming role in the movie My Week with Marilyn.
In the Vogue interview, pin-thin Williams admits she tried to gain weight for the part. “Unfortunately, it went right to my face,” she explains. “So at some point it became a question of, ‘Do I want my face to look like Marilyn Monroe’s, or my hips?'” The director settled, finally, on using foam padding to create Marilyn’s curves.
Williams threw herself into studying Monroe’s life, mannerisms, and movements for the part.
“I do remember one moment of being all suited up as Monroe,” Williams explains, “and walking from my dressing room onto the soundstage practicing my ‘wiggle’.
“There were three or four men gathered around a truck, and I remember seeing that they were watching me—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 way when she walked down the beach.'”
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.
It’s 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.