5. She had no control over her sexuality



Sex sells, and if anyone knew this, it was Monroe. While she was frustrated with the tendency for the press and film executives to reduce her to a sex symbol and nothing more, Monroe understood the power her unique sexuality could get her. Over and over, she was typecast in roles meant to look good on-screen and little else, but she wouldn't allow the transaction to go one way.?



"She manages to be sexually attractive, and the object of the male gaze in all of the ways that she needs to be," says Sarah Churchwell of Monroe's early performance in "Ladies of the Chorus," "but she's also making fun of it. And that is the moment at which Marilyn discovered how this performance was going to work for her."

莎拉·丘吉尔(Sarah Churchwell)在谈到梦露在《合唱团的女士们》中的早期表演时说:“她设法表现得性感迷人,并且以她需要的所有方式成为男性注视的对象。但她也在取笑这一点。正是在那一刻,玛丽莲发现了这场表演将如何对她起作用。”


Not only did Monroe lean into her status as a sex bomb, she also refused to be ashamed of it. Early in her career, Monroe posed nude for a photographer while strapped for money. Rather than capitulate to the popular conservatism of the time when the photoshoot was exposed in the press, Marilyn stood by her decision.?



"They said, "Did you pose for a calendar?'" recalled Monroe, "and I said, "Yes, anything wrong?' "


6. She never spoke out against sexism in Hollywood


The studio system in the 1940s and 1950s treated women like commodities; sex and relationships were exchanged and often expected in return for auditions and contracts.?



Monroe was not exempt from participating, and she received a lot of unwanted advances as she worked toward a career in acting. At Columbia Pictures, studio head Harry Cohn invited Monroe on a trip on his yacht. Monroe suggested she would only come along if Cohn's wife was also invited. Soon after her rejection, she was dropped from her contract.




Decades before the Times Up movement, Monroe detailed the harassment she faced in an article called "Wolves I Have Known" published in "Motion Picture and Television Magazine". She wrote, "there are many types of wolves. Some are sinister, others are just good-time Charlies trying to get something for nothing and others make a game of it." She called out the powerful men she'd faced as an up-and-comer and shined a light on the unsafe conditions women were forced to endure if they wanted a career in motion pictures.?


7. She wasn't a serious actor


Monroe is known for her iconic roles where she played ditzy blondes, but behind the scenes she was anything but mindless. Early in her career, she sought out guidance from Natasha Lytess, the head of drama at Columbia Pictures. According to "Marilyn Monroe: The Personal Archive" author Cindy de la Hoz, Lytess brought a "wealth of knowledge about theater [that] was very enticing to Marilyn. She wanted to get this kind of serious education about acting."

梦露以她在剧中扮演的标志性角色而闻名,但在幕后她一点也不盲目。在她的职业生涯早期,她向哥伦比亚电影公司的戏剧主管娜塔莎·莱特丝寻求指导。根据《玛丽莲·梦露:个人档案》作者辛迪·德拉霍兹(Cindy de la Hoz)的说法,Lytess带来了“关于戏剧的丰富知识,这对玛丽莲很有吸引力。她想接受这种关于表演的专业教育。”


Even after she'd achieved major success in her career, Monroe continued to seek out opportunities to become a more serious actor. She enrolled in classes with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio in New York, where her peers looked down on the flashy careers of movie stars like her. But Monroe was a dedicated student of method acting, and she gained the respect of her classmates with her hard work.



Actress Ellen Burstyn witnessed Marilyn's portrayal of Anna Christie at the studio. "Everybody who saw that says that it was not only the best work Marilyn ever did, it was some of the best work ever seen at Studio," she recalled. "She achieved real greatness in that scene."



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