As ubiquitous as Marilyn Monroe was at one time, her true person remains a sort of puzzle that the public must put together. And enigmas abounded at a party June 12 held in New York to celebrate the debut of a new doc about her, "Love, Marilyn," set to debut on HBO June 17.
In a room in HBO's corporate headquarters, attendees enjoyed a beautiful view of Bryant Park and were left to wonder what the exact ingredients were of a "Norma Jean," a purplish concoction created for the event. (The answer? Watermelon-infused vodka and simple syrup, according to a bartender.) They could only wonder what made one guest clad in yellow pants gesticulate wildly when a friend entered his line of sight. And they could muse to themselves whether the lime-cilantro tofu sliders tasted any good.
Some queries were made to be answered. In "Love, Marilyn," a star-studded cast that includes Lili Taylor, Paul Giamatti, Oliver Platt and Marisa Tomei bring the former Norma Jeane Mortenson to life through recently discovered personal papers, diaries.
"You can feel Marilyn through this cacophony of voices," said Liz Garbus, the movie's director.
It's "thespians on thespians," said Taylor.
And sometimes, you get the straight story. One of the people featured in the film is Amy Greene, a former model who was a friend of the screen icon.
"I'm the only one that knew her, and I'm saying what actually happened," said Greene, holding forth in a coat closet so her raspy voice could be heard above the din of the reception. "No bullshit."