I'm not sure if my reaction is more unfair to Williams or Monroe, but I guess I imagine someone less talented and less wholesome-looking. Someone like Scarlett Johansson, who was previously rumored to be in line for the film. Or Megan Fox, Malin Ackerman, Anna Faris or any other pin-up type currently included in Maxim's Hot 100.
Of course, this film would require a great actress to pull off the portrayal of Marilyn in her struggle to balance her true self and her onscreen persona. Based on Colin Clark's memoir of the same title, the film will deal with the making of Laurence Olivier's The Prince and the Showgirl. This was one of the first films for which Marilyn attempted to shake off her familiar dumb blond reputation; it was also the film that allegedly made Olivier quit directing for 13 years, as he was so annoyed with the behavior of his female lead.
Plenty of famous movie and TV actresses have portrayed Marilyn (and Norma Jean, her original, pre-Hollywood self) in films, whether biopics or complete fictions.Mira Sorvino, Ashley Judd, Sophie Monk, Poppy Montgomery, Sally Kirkland, Heather Thomas, Theresa Russell, Kim Stanley, Samantha Morton (sort of) and even Growing Pains' Tracey Gold have all made the dramatic effort, while others like Lindsay Lohan and Madonna have emulated her in photos only.
Williams is a terrific actress, but she's still associated too much with her run on Dawson's Creek and doesn't get nearly enough credit (even despite that Oscar nod). If she can pull this off, it might be the role that allows people to see that she's not just playing versions of herself all the time. It will even surprise me, and I'm already a pretty big believer in her talent.
Can you see Williams doing justice to the most famous pin-up actress of all time?