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What Was It Really Like To Work For Marilyn Monroe?

Marilyn Monroe has revolutionized the world of cinema as we know it today. The actress, who famously coined the line “diamonds are a girl’s best friend” is Hollywood royalty, and rightfully so! Monroe, who was regarded as one of the most famous and successful stars of the 1950s, much like her only competition at the time, Audrey Hepburn, led quite an interesting life, one that many fans of hers do not even know about.

Despite being the “it” girl at the time, Marilyn Monroe found herself with far more enemies than friends, leading many to believe that they were simply jealous of all the attention Monroe was receiving. Many of her co-stars did not enjoy working alongside Marilyn due to her “diva antics”, however, it appears as if her scenes on-screen made it all worthwhile.

Considering just how big a star Marilyn Monroe was at the time, she worked with a lot of people and had herself quite a team of her own from acting coaches, makeup artists and personal assistants. Although she expected a lot, she was always a gem to those who worked closely for her and remains one of the softest and kind souls to have graced Hollywood, which is the reason why she is known as one of the best. Here is everything we know about what it was like working for Marilyn Monroe.

Those famous curves were hard work! Marilyn Monroe works out at home in  rarely-seen images taken for LIFE magazine | Daily Mail Online

1 She Would Show Up Hours Late For Work

When it comes to Marilyn Monroe, it appears as if her reputation on-set of her many films was not all that great. According to countless directors and colleagues of Monroe’s, she would turn up to set hours later than she was expected to. Tony Curtis, who worked on “Some Like It Hot” alongside Marilyn, claimed they would be waiting hours for her to arrive, making the experience quite a miserable one!

Film Directors Hated Working With Her

Although Marilyn Monroe is regarded as one of the most notable actresses of the ’40s, and ’50s, it seems as if directors absolutely hated working with her. In addition to showing up hours late and stalling production, Monroe was also “hell” to work with as described by “Some Like It Hot” film director, Billy Wilder. Dirk Bogard, who also worked alongside Marilyn on various projects, claimed she was not as “charismatic” in person, leading many directors to be unimpressed with her, however, things changed when the cameras began rolling.

But Would Put Up With It For The Finished Product

As mentioned, film directors and other actors who worked alongside Marilyn Monroe, absolutely hated the experience considering her tardiness, lack of charisma on-set and her inability to remember lines. However, it appears as if it was all worth it for the finishing product. While directors hated the process, it all paid off when her scenes came to light. Marilyn was able to come to life as soon as she was on camera and had a way of transforming a scene into complete magic, making all of her diva antics completely worth it.

She Was Not As Glamorous As We Think

Marilyn Monroe has been deemed as an icon of many things throughout her career, and although she has been regarded as one of the most “glamorous actresses of all time”, it appears that may be a slight overstatement. Despite appearing as a polished actress on-screen, Monroe was allegedly known for having poor hygiene. The star was known to be quite the lackadaisical type who was messy and didn’t enjoy showering very often. Many of her co-stars claimed she would show up to set “unshowered” and with “spots” on her face, which unlike Monroe’s on-screen image, didn’t leave much to be desired.

Marilyn Demanded The Final Say Regarding A Movie Scene

There is no denying the magic that Marilyn Monroe had created when the director would yell “action!”, however, things were not a walk in the park when it came to working with her. Marilyn was known to have the final say in regards to whether a scene was adequate or not. According to several claims, Monroe demanded a take be shot over 25 times for only one line because she was not happy with how it was coming out on-screen. This stems from Marilyn’s insecurities as an actress and her constant fear of not being taken seriously, so much that she would ensure every single scene was perfect.

Her Acting Coaches Were Worked Tirelessly

While Marilyn Monroe did not have a full staff of people surround her, the few that did were worked quite tirelessly. As mentioned, Marilyn required every single scene she was in to be perfect, which meant a lot of rehearsal and practice with her acting coaches. Paula Strasberg, who worked as Monroe’s acting coach and confidante, would be with her on-set, at her home or out and about constantly going through the script and perfecting the intonation, delivery and memorizing of all her lines.

She Was Kind To Her Personal Assistant

Considering Marilyn Monroe was the “it” girl for the duration of her career, she required a lot of help when it came to her everyday life. While she didn’t have a staff of people at her beck and call, she did have a number of assistants and close friends who helped her throughout her time as a movie star. May Reis and Betty Robin served as Monroe’s personal assistant from the 50s all the way up until her ԁеаtһ in 1962. According to Robin, Marilyn was extremely kind and soft with her and the two shared quite a special relationship up until Monroe’s untimely and unfortunate passing.

However, The Only Friends She Had Were Those She Paid

Despite being one of the most famous film stars at the time, Marilyn Monroe could not find herself a solid and reliable circle of friends. According to Betty Robin, who served as Marilyn Monroe’s personal assistant up until her ԁеаtһ in 1962, claimed that the people she surrounded herself with were on her payroll. Marilyn had friends, but they either worked for her or had worked for her. Marilyn had met a lot of people through her ex-husband, Joe DiMaggio, however, they remained loyal to Joe after their divorce, leading Monroe with little close friends and allies that weren’t being paid by her.

She Battled A Lot Of Demons Quietly

It was not clear at the time, considering Marilyn Monroe seemed like she had a perfect life, but she was fighting off a lot of inner demons in a very quiet battle. It was revealed that Marilyn had committed suicide, however, it remains a strong belief that she did not do so on purpose. Marilyn had been prescribed a plethora of drugs that she would take to overcome her depression and anxiety. Her nightstand was littered with bottles of opiates, amphetamines and barbiturates all of which were taken simultaneously during the last few months of her life. Many people claim Marilyn’s ԁеаtһ was staged, considering no water or beverage of any kind was found in her home, making her overdose a very questionable act.

10 Marilyn Kept The Same Makeup Artist For Her Entire Career

While she was under a lot of pressure, Marilyn Monroe kept those she worked with very close to her. Despite arriving on-set unprepared at times, she would always have her trusted makeup artist, Whitey Snyder, by her side. Whitey and Marilyn worked together from her very first screen test in 1946 to her funeral makeup in 1962. Whitey introduced a number of beauty secrets to Marilyn, such as Vaseline and olive oil, which she used religiously to keep her skin soft, supple and glowing.

11 Her Co-Stars Never Liked Working With Her

Marilyn Monroe has without a doubt proved herself as a notable actress and Hollywood icon who transformed the world of film as we know it. She appeared in countless legendary movies such as “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and “The Seven Year Itch”, and while she gave a great performance, her co-stars never liked her. During her time shooting “There’s No Business Like Show Business”, Monroe’s co-star, Ethel Merman, would always refer to Marilyn as “the blonde” and never by name, which is one example of many showcasing her co-stars’ distaste for her.

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