Jack Lemmon talks about Marilyn Monroe — Some Like it Hot

On Marilyn Monroe:

Jack LemmonI liked her very much and I got along great with her. She had a lot of problems, she was basically an unhappy girl. She drove Billy and Tony crazy, she drove me a little crazy too but I didn’t let on and it didn’t bother me as much as it bothered them, and it was almost always the same thing: the lateness. She had a problem, God knows what it was. (She just could not come out of her dressing room, fully made-up and dressed and everything, the little portable dressing room on the set, until she was ready to face the cameras psychologically.) Until then you could knock on the door and she’d say “fuck off,” literally. She just could not and would not come out. Now and then, unfortunately, I think she was slugging off a bit of wine and stuff while she was sitting in there and that didn’t help, but it sure as hell didn’t hurt her performances because she was wonderful. In the second half of the film, Tony had those longer scenes with her on the yacht and everything while I’m off with a rose in my mouth dancing with Joe E. Brown and having a ball… Tony and Billy were suffering. Billy Wilder’s SOME LIKE IT HOT, edited by Alison Castle with interviews by Dan Auiler, published by Taschen

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7 comments

  1. George Kaplan

    I always thought Jack Lemmon was a nice man as well as a good actor, and here’s more proof. Understanding, and funny too! Much as I’d like to be.
    As for Marilyn telling people to eff off when they knocked on her and she wasn’t prepared, let’s just say I can understand that sometimes… 🙂 Poor woman. I love that second image – adorable!

  2. George,I have always had the same opinion aboutJack Lemmon as you.I have not seen any of his old films for many years,but remember that i always found him very,very funny.I think i will have to track some of the old ones down.

    I think he was genuinely funny unlike a certain British star briefly married to a certain American singer who seems to think just being rude is being funny.I am a gentle mild person why does the mere thought of him make me want to punch him in the head.I think he brings out my -Inner Assassin.

  3. He was a lot nicer about Marilyn than he was in an interview from the 1970s in which he seemed to hint that she had no real talent.

    • LMWill

      In this excerpt he didn’t exactly say she had talent either! He spoke about liking and getting along with her, the lateness, even said she could be “wonderful”, but nothing about her acting talent (or lack thereof). He was careful with what he said.

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