Comscore

Marilyn Monroe & The Strasbergs

MrMidwest Profile Photo
MrMidwest
Broadway Legend
joined:2/8/05
Marilyn Monroe & The Strasbergs
Posted: 3/10/14 at 03:58pm
“You’re very tough on the Strasbergs in your memoir,” I say.

“Well, I meant to be,” Miller says.

“You describe them as poisonous, and vacuous.”

“That’s a good description.”

“Humbugs.”

“Mr. and Mrs.”

“The inference one draws is that they were almost instrumental in Marilyn’s dissolution.”

“Well, put it this way. They had an immense influence on her mind. Immense. Not the wife, but him. The wife she saw through, pretty much. But she never saw through him. He had the fascination of a guru. Not just for Marilyn, but for a lot of much less suffering people. What he was saying, in effect, was, You can’t do anything without me. From time to time you’re gonna have to, but never forget that.

“Well, if you’ve already got weak legs, and you’re not standing on them solidly, that can be a severe blow. In other words, you’re never gonna grow up.”

Monroe’s fantasy about Miller centered on domesticity, and true domesticity meant having a child. When she suffered an ectopic pregnancy in 1957, and learned she might never have a baby, she was crushed. As a kind of compensation, Miller wrote her a short story called “The Misfits,” about the cowboy Gay Langland and his gentle lady friend, Roslyn. The story was meant for the movies, and the part of Roslyn was patently built for Marilyn. But it was a love gift that failed. By the time, John Huston began shooting The Misfits in July 1960, the marriage barely existed.

“Is the story of The Misfits a story of the two of you coming apart under the influence of the Strasbergs?” I ask.

“Well, they helped,” Miller says. “Because they helped to justify her worst self-defeating strategies, if you’d call them strategies. In order to continue to have power over her, they would justify anything. With a large dose of intellectualization. When, if they really had her welfare at heart, they’d have tried to draw her gently closer and closer to reality. And the reality was what she ultimately faced, which was a studio that fired her. Because she wouldn’t appear to make the film.

“Had it been an ordinary situation on The Misfits, she probably would’ve come close to being fired then. ‘Cause we were up there on this dry lake, with some pretty big stars, sitting around for days at a time waiting for her to appear.

“We were coming apart ourselves, irrespective of that,” Miller says. “Because, well, Marilyn always—as I learned later—she would exhaust areas of her life. Simply exhaust them. Then she’d go on. And this was one of them.”

“You, you mean.”

“Well, the whole idea of a domestic existence. I mean, I can’t live for too long in a tent and on the road. I have to have a steady domicile, and some peace and quiet, or I can’t work. And she wanted that, too, with part of her psyche—wanted it desperately.”

“And a child.”

“And a child. But she also wanted something that made that very difficult to have. Which was this power. Star power. Because the opposite was to be destroyed. To be totally destroyed.”

Fascinating!
"The gods who nurse this universe think little of mortals' cares. They sit in crowds on exclusive clouds and laugh at our love affairs. I might have had a real romance if they'd given me a chance. I loved him, but he didn't love me. I wanted him, but he didn't want me. Then the gods had a spree and indulged in another whim. Now he loves me, but I don't love him." - Cole Porter
henrikegerman Profile Photo
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
Marilyn Monroe & The Strasbergs
Posted: 3/10/14 at 04:24pm
Now the conflict Mr. Miller has described, Bombshell creative team, has the stuff of a real musical.
bobs3
Broadway Legend
joined:4/8/12
Marilyn Monroe & The Strasbergs
Posted: 3/10/14 at 10:05pm
After Lee's daughter Susan Strasberg died, Lee's widow (the second Mrs. Strasberg) put all of Marilyn's belongings (which she had left to Lee and Anna) up for auction. Lee had left half of his estate to the second Mrs. Strasberg and half to his daughter Susan. Susan wouldn't allow Marilyn's belongings to be sold during her lifetime but she was barely in the ground when the second Mrs. Strasberg put them up for auction. There was a bit of a scandal when Susan's daughter (Lee's granddaughter) did not receive her fair share from the sale of Marilyn's belongings. The matter was eventually settled out of court.
FindingNamo Profile Photo
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
Marilyn Monroe & The Strasbergs
Posted: 3/10/14 at 10:10pm
And the auction's the Bombshell framing device!
'First the Bastille than the butt plug.' -- M ______
Mr. Nowack Profile Photo
Mr. Nowack
Broadway Star
joined:2/2/14
Marilyn Monroe & The Strasbergs
Posted: 3/11/14 at 03:55pm
It would add some compelling substance to the currently nonexistent Arthur Miller / Strasberg sections.
I was previously known as Mr. Nowak (Joined: 5/20/13).
MrMidwest Profile Photo
MrMidwest
Broadway Legend
joined:2/8/05
Marilyn Monroe & The Strasbergs
Posted: 3/13/14 at 06:49pm
Apparently Natalie Wood taught her some Russian for this meeting!
Marilyn meets Khrushchev in 1959
"The gods who nurse this universe think little of mortals' cares. They sit in crowds on exclusive clouds and laugh at our love affairs. I might have had a real romance if they'd given me a chance. I loved him, but he didn't love me. I wanted him, but he didn't want me. Then the gods had a spree and indulged in another whim. Now he loves me, but I don't love him." - Cole Porter
Borstalboy Profile Photo
Borstalboy
Broadway Legend
joined:2/9/04
Marilyn Monroe & The Strasbergs
Posted: 3/13/14 at 09:35pm
He had an undeniable Svengali relationship with her. He told her she could play the great roles, like Anna Christie or Lady Macbeth. Charles Grodin was in Strasberg's class at the time and would hear from his fellow students how brilliant she was doing this scene or that. When he finally did see her, she had to be coaxed out to do the scene and when she finally did, according to Grodin, not one line she uttered could be heard. Strasberg would then go on to praise her work to the moon while his acolytes nodded in agreement.
"It's now rather very common to hear people say 'I'm rather offended by that'. As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more than a whine. It has no meaning, no purpose. It has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that'. Well, so f**king what?"--Stephen Fry
henrikegerman Profile Photo
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
Marilyn Monroe & The Strasbergs
Posted: 3/13/14 at 10:02pm
Say what you will about Strasberg, and he deserves all of it I don't doubt, but you won't convince me that he was wrong about her talent.
PalJoey Profile Photo
PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
Marilyn Monroe & The Strasbergs
Posted: 3/13/14 at 10:24pm


The question is not whether he was wrong about her. It's whether she was wrong about them.

yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
MrMidwest Profile Photo
MrMidwest
Broadway Legend
joined:2/8/05
Marilyn Monroe & The Strasbergs
Posted: 3/15/14 at 02:14pm
Oh, Arthur, you were doing so well until you said that The Misfits was MM's "first dramatic role." So Don't Bother to Knock and Bus Stop never happened, huh?
Miller: 'her mother, who tried to destroy her at one point.'
"The gods who nurse this universe think little of mortals' cares. They sit in crowds on exclusive clouds and laugh at our love affairs. I might have had a real romance if they'd given me a chance. I loved him, but he didn't love me. I wanted him, but he didn't want me. Then the gods had a spree and indulged in another whim. Now he loves me, but I don't love him." - Cole Porter