‘Smash’ Stars Explain Marilyn Monroe Mystique

'She was just a classic, iconic American beauty, an American star,' series star Katharine McPhee tells MTV News.

It seems like no matter where you turn in the pop culture realm lately, you are more than likely to find a reference to blond bombshell Marilyn Monroe. Nearly 50 years after Monroe died at the age of 36, she is still considered one of the most iconic figures in Hollywood history. So it’s no surprise that in 2012 she is having another shining moment.

She was brought to life by Michelle Williams in her Oscar-nominated role in “My Week With Marilyn,” was paid homage in Madonna’s video for “Give Me All Your Luvin’ “ and channeled by Nicki Minaj in her leaked track, fittingly titled “Marilyn Monroe.” And each week on the new hit series “Smash,” two aspiring stars vie to play her in a role for a Broadway musical.

So why is Marilyn’s life back in the spotlight? Well, according to the cast of “Smash,” she never left.

“I think she’s always had a moment,” Katharine McPhee told MTV News at the “Smash” premiere. “I think people are just intrigued by her life and how she left us too early. She was just a classic, iconic American beauty, an American star. There was a real innocence and sweetness to her, I think.”

McPhee’s co-star Anjelica Huston agrees. “I don’t really think she’s been out of fashion for very long. She’s an iconic figure, maybe the most beautiful, the most enduring blond ever. That’s why 50 years later, she remains as iconic as she ever was.”

It’s not just her outer beauty that have left people intrigued by Monroe. Her complicated and sad true-life story — of an orphan named Norma Jean turned sex symbol Marilyn Monroe — has kept people interested as well.

“I think she’s extremely relatable. Her story is fascinating, and anybody who doesn’t know anything about her life really should take a minute and read any of the many biographies that are out there on her,” “Smash” co-star Megan Hilty said. “Behind all this glamour, adoration, she was a very lonely person, and I think a lot of people can identify with that part of her. And they also look up to her for the glamorous side. She is so many different things to so many different people that we’ll be talking about her for years to come.”

Why do you think Marilyn Monroe is having a moment? Let us know in the comments.

Christina Garibaldi has been an on-camera reporter for MTV News since 2011. When not interviewing or writing about her favorite stars, she keeps herself busy with baby animal videos and boy bands.
@ChristinaMTV