Elia Kazan on Marilyn Monroe: Blonde Caesar

Interview with Elia Kazan
Conducted by James Grissom

Marilyn wanted and needed to be told what to do. She surrounded herself with teachers and gurus and quacks and self-help books and nutritionists--all of whom, she believed, would tell her how to live well and wisely. She had no trust in her own instincts or her own natural intelligence. Marilyn was a wise woman, but she could not quote in the manner of so many of her friends, so she felt perpetually stupid. So bring on the Pilates guy; bring in the analyst; bring in the acting coaches--perpetually on call--to analyze every sentence, every intake of breath, to count every second of time the camera is away from you; bring in the doctor who can inject you with something that will give you confidence or sleep or relaxation or energy. Think of her as Caesar, and her awful Senate of loathsome quacks and advisers killed her.

© 2014 James Grissom


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