1956, fresh from Oxford University, twenty-three-year-old Colin Clark began
work as a lowly assistant on the set of The
Prince and the Showgirl, the film that united Sir Laurence Olivier with
Marilyn Monroe. The blonde bombshell and the legendary actor were ill suited
from the start. Monroe, on honeymoon with her new husband, the celebrated
playwright Arthur Miller, was insecure, often late, and heavily medicated on
pills. Olivier, obsessively punctual, had no patience for Monroe and the
production became chaotic.
was abuzz when Monroe arrived to shoot The Prince and the Showgirl. She
hoped working with the legendary Olivier would give her acting further
credibility, while he hoped the film would give his career a boost at the box
office and some Hollywood glamour. But Monroe, feeling abandoned when Miller
left the country for Paris, became difficult on the set. Clark was perceptive
in his assessment of what seemed to be going wrong in Monroe’s life: too many
hangers-on, intense insecurity, and too many pills. Olivier, meanwhile, was
impatient and condescending toward her.
a certain point, feeling isolated and overwhelmed, Monroe turned her attention
to Clark, who gave her comfort and solace. Before long, she escaped the set and
a remarkable true adventure took place. Monroe and Clark spent an innocent week
together in the English countryside and Clark became her confidant and ally.
And, like any man would be expected to, he fell a bit in love. Clark understood
how best to handle Monroe and became Olivier’s only hope of getting the film
finished. Before long, young Colin was in over his head, and his heart may well
have been broken by the world’s biggest movie star.
beguiling memoir that reads like a fable, My Week with Marilyn is above
all a love letter to one of our most enduring icons. Download and start listening now!