ILLUSTRATION BY DAVID SHELDON
Ten years after her untimely death, Interview honored Marilyn Monroe with a posthumous cover. Twenty years after that, in the August 1992 issue, Interview paid tribute to the actress again with a short piece in which editor Mark Marvel asked seven other similarly-initialed notables to explain the lasting appeal of the Divine Miss M.M. Because a certain iconic scene featuring Monroe in a white halter dress and standing atop a subway grate was filmed September 15, 1954—and because new photos of Michelle Williams as Monroe have been the talk of the Internet since they appeared on Vogue's website yesterday—we're reprinting that 1992 celebration of Monroe. Read on to see what Minnie Mouse, Malcolm McDowell, and Marky Mark—now known as Mark Wahlberg, Serious Actor—had to say about Norma Jean's legacy.
Marilyn Monroe died thirty years ago this month. Why does she still mean so much?
Michael Musto, gossip columnist for The Village Voice
"Back in my prepubescent Brooklyn days, all indicators pointed to the fact that sex was terribly dirty and disturbed. Marilyn Monroe movies suggested otherwise. In all her innocent eroticism, Marilyn proved once and for all that if a gust of wind lifts up your skirt, it's only natural to go for it. I've been doing it ever since"
Minnie Mouse, a.k.a. Russi Taylor, voice of the Disney star
"She was most alluring, and oh, so beautiful. And of course she was the epitome of a good shopper. I mean, after all, how else would she get all those beautiful clothes?"
Mathilda May, actress
"Once, when we were working together, Yves Montand told me Marilyn and I both worried about our acting in the same way. And, of course, I thought of her when I was working with him. I asked him questions about how she did things, and he told me that everything for her seemed to be a bit complicated. Like, even a walk across the street. She would think too much of how that walk should be done."
Malcolm McDowell, actor
"As an actress she knew how to make herself free, to let herself go completely. She did her rehearsing on the set, which I think is why her performances were so spontaneous. Of course, as a person she was like a beautifully caged bird; she was so tragically doomed. But, non, she didn't influence me as an actor, because I was raised on the theater, which teaches one a more professional way of doing things. Bit then maybe the professionalism of the theater is what cages me as an actor."
Marky Mark, rapper
"Marilyn? One sly honey."
Malcolm McLaren, father of punk/rock renaissance man
"She's the girl you're forever wanting to undress without blinking. And she's very much an enfant perdue, too, which is something that I can relate to, something very sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll: if you put it all together you get Marilyn Monroe. You know, she's almost cheap T-shirt, because that's what rock 'n' roll is—you find in Times Square, in the windows. There's Marilyn Monroe, there's Sid Vicious, there's James Dean. She's more for your money. [laughs] She's like... she's no culture at all—she's like America. It's all part of the same thing, that sad kind of glamour. She's not a human being anymore, she's a mythic thing. The idea of Marilyn Monroe is what I think Marilyn Monroe is."
Marla Maples, actress/personality
"Once the media gets involved in your life, you can lose perspective on who you really are. And Marilyn wasn't that sure who she was before the world tried to invent who she was - and believe me, it doesn't matter how you've lived your life, because people will create you the way they want to create you. I've always had a strong affinity with Marilyn, but I'm thankful that what's happened to me has happened now that I'm a little older and wise. Just studying her life has really helped me handle myself in a different way."