Wow! See Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe in Vogue

Entertainment Sep. 13, 2011 AT 10:36AM
Wow! See Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe in Vogue Credit: Annie Leibovitz

Michelle, is that you?

Michelle Williams is the latest actress to play perhaps the most iconic screen goddess of all time: Marilyn Monroe.

The Oscar-nominee, 30, became the Some Like It Hot legend in My Week With Marilyn, out this fall -- and posed for Annie Leibovitz in stunning photos for October issue of Vogue, on stands Sept. 20.

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The intense actress went to great lengths to transform into the curvy Monroe, including working with a choreographer to capture Monroe's walk to weight gain -- which didn't work out so great.

"Unfortunately, it went right to my face," Williams tells Vogue. "So at some point it became a question of, Do I want my face to look like Marilyn Monroe's or my hips?"

Williams opted for the hips, and used foam padding to complete the look.

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Eventually, she says, "it felt like being reborn. It felt like breaking my body and remaking it in her image, learning how she walked and talked and held her head. None of that existed in my physical memory, and I knew I needed as much time as possible to make it part of me."

She adds of the life-changing part: "I wish that I could play her for the rest of my life."

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And, she adds, the role couldn't have arrived at a better time. "I feel like something has changed for me...Maybe it has something to do with turning 30. I don’t feel as shy or nervous or self-conscious. I have more confidence that I can handle what life brings me...It's like I've found my voice."

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Part of that has to do, she admits, with moving past the shocking 2008 death of Heath Ledger, her ex and father to her daughter Matilda, 5. "Three years ago, it felt like we didn't have anything, and now my life -- our life—has kind of repaired itself."

Ledger's death has "changed how I see the world and how I interact on a daily basis. It's changed the parent I am. It's changed the friend I am. It's changed the kind of work that I really want to do. It's become the lens through which I see life--that it's all impermanent."

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