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Michelle Williams on Her Life as Marilyn Monroe

Michelle Williams on Her Life as Marilyn Monroe (photo)

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One of the unexpected surprises at this weekend’s tribute to Michelle Williams at the Aero Theatre in Los Angeles was the first glimpse of footage from “My Life With Marilyn,” an adaptation of Colin Clark’s memoir from the set of “The Prince and the Showgirl,” on which he was an assistant to Laurence Olivier and witnessed the tensions on the production between his boss and Marilyn Monroe. The fleeting bit of footage was as much a tease as Monroe herself, a montage of dialogue-free clips with Williams striking iconic poses such as being surrounded by a phalanx of photographers and reporters as Arthur Miller (Dougray Scott) escorts Monroe off an airport tarmac or playfully drifting across the lawn of her Connecticut home before climaxing with a scene of the bombshell teasing Clark (Eddie Redmayne) with a song as she lounges in a bathtub.

“I grew up with this picture of [Monroe] in my bedroom,” said Williams, in what were her first public comments about the role outside of a Daily Mail interview right after the shoot wrapped last week. “It’s a picture of her at the house in Connecticut, Roxbury where she and Miller lived and this picture of her wearing this white dress and she’s barefoot and she’s spinning and her head’s back and she’s smiling, it very natural. So my primary association of her is of that, so she’s kind of always felt less of an icon and a bit more of a friend. So that was a decent place to start.”

12132010_BlueValentine.jpgSpeaking to a room peppered with Screen Actors Guild members who were clearly won over when she said co-star Kenneth Branagh was “more Laurence Olivier than Laurence Olivier” in the film, Williams also acknowledged the difficulty in trying to portray such an iconic figure as Monroe, saying, “There has never been and maybe will never be someone as beautiful as Marilyn Monroe. Like I’m not a drag queen — I’m not going to get plastic surgery to look like her. I have limitations in terms of how much I can resemble her, so instead what I can master, what I can strive for is her essence.”

Clearly, the Weinstein Company, who will distribute “My Life With Marilyn,” already has an eye on next year’s awards race, though their reason for sponsoring the tribute was Williams’ performance in “Blue Valentine.” Both “Blue” director Derek Cianfrance and Ang Lee offered video testimonials – Cianfrance praised Williams and said, “I feel like if you were a man in the silent era of movies, you’d be Buster Keaton because you’re so intensely cinematic. When I see you on the screen, it seems like there’s a thousand storms raging inside of you.” Likewise, Williams’ “Brokeback Mountain” director got one of the biggest laughs of the night after tacking on a note of fear to go with his admiration: “She’s such a brilliant actress and a very serious one that can be really intimidating… a little scary.”

As for Williams, the tribute was conveniently scheduled before a screening for “Blue Valentine,” so she let her latest film speak for itself.

[Additional photo: “Blue Valentine,” The Weinstein Company, 2010]

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…