Michelle Williams talks pressures Marilyn Monroe

'I wanted to hop on the next train and get the hell out': Michelle Williams talks about the pressures of being Marilyn Monroe
By Georgina Littlejohn

It is a role that a million actresses across the world would give their right arm - and possibly their leg - to play.

But Michelle Williams has admitted that playing Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe was daunting and terrifying and that was before she had even begun filimg.

The 31-year-old actress plays the screen siren in new film My Week With Marilyn which tells the story of Monroe's four-month stay in the UK to film The Prince and the Showgirl alongside Laurence Olivier.

Elegant: Michelle Williams is an effortless beauty as she posed for a shoot for Elle magazine as spoke about playing Marilyn Monroe

And Michelle said she almost didn't take on the role at all, even thought she knew she wanted to the moment she read the script.

And even when director Simon Curtis flew to her New York home to offer her the part, Michelle said she wasn’t sure she could accept and begged him to audition her properly.

Speaking to Elle magazine, she said: 'I said, "I want both of us to know that I can do this, I don’t want to be offered this role for any other reason than we know that I’m capable of it".

Third love: Michelle with Dougray Scott, who plays Marilyn's husband Arthur Miller,
in a scene from the film

'I was so apprehensive. It was daunting living up to people's expectations as well as my own expectations. I wanted to hop on the next train to the Alps or something and get the hell out because it was terrifying.'

And less than a month before the film is released in the UK, she admitted that the fear hasn't left her yet, adding: 'I’ve never been so hanging on a cliff waiting to hear what people think of a movie.'

Michelle, who has six-year-old daughter Matilda from her relationship with late actor Australian Heath Ledger, said she has always admired Monroe, who died aged 36 in August 1962.

She said: 'Something I really appreciated about her is what a simple dresser she was. She's really, in her personal life, completely unadorned.
The full Elle interview with Michelle, her only UK one ahead of the film's release,
is on sale on tomorrow

'Everything that she wore looked like she could take hr shoes off and run through a field. And I like that.'

And Michelle said she was always more interested in Monroe's private life as opposed to her acting career.

She said: 'I had always been more interested in the private Marilyn, and the unguarded Marilyn.

'Even as a young girl, my primary concern wasn't with this larger than life personality smiling back from the wall but with what was going on underneath.'

The film also stars Dame Judi Dench, Dougray Scott, Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson and is released in the UK on November 25.

The full Elle interview with Michelle, her only UK one ahead of the film's release, is on sale on tomorrow