Michelle Williams is no stranger to changing herself for a role, but in preparing for "My Week with Marilyn," the actress discovered that she does have limitations.
"I padded myself some," Williams told OnTheRedCarpet.com of trying to become Marilyn Monroe for the role. "I never really thought about how there are just some distances that I will never be able to cross. I can't restructure my face completely. I can't grow a few inches. I can't dictate with the weight I gain where it will land, so I have to accept that there are certain ways we are never going to meet and I have to satisfy myself with going after her essences."
"My Week with Marilyn" is based on the week that British writer Colin Clark worked as Monroe's assistant while she was filming "The Prince and the Showgirl" in the United Kingdom in the summer of 1956. British actor Eddie Redmayne plays Clark.
In the film, Williams took on the appearance, speaking voice and recreated several iconic movie scenes from one of Hollywood's most famous leading ladies and sex symbols, Marilyn Monroe, who died in 1962 at age 36.
"It was a lot of research," Williams said. "It was a lot of time spent in front of the television with a remote in my hand - watching, pausing, trying to replicate, rewinding, watching, pausing, trying to replicate."
Williams, who rose to fame with a supporting role on the WB series "Dawson's Creek," said that while preparing for the role was difficult, it was well-worth the effort.
"Luckily, I didn't know how big of a risk it was until after the film was made," Williams said. "Because it pleased me, because it thrilled me and excited me to challenge myself in this way. I didn't think of it as a professional risk, I thought of it as a personal risk and those, I'm always willing to take... You have to allow yourself to wade through a lot of mistakes. Really, I think that's the trick, is to not expect yourself to get it perfectly the first time and to not be afraid when it doesn't come instantly."
Williams, a 31-year-old Montana native, is also known for movies such as "Brokeback Mountain," which starred her then-boyfriend Heath Ledger and the R-rated "Blue Valentine." Both movies earned the actress Oscar nominations. Many critics have already cited Williams as being a front-runner the next Best Actress Oscar Award.
"I'd never thought for a million years that someone would ask me to play Marilyn Monroe and that our lives, for a moment, would collide in some way. So while it was hard, I was also very conscious of my great stroke of luck."
Williams also recently filmed the independent movie "Take This Waltz," which was directed and written by Sarah Polley and also stars Seth Rogen and Sarah Silverman. No wide release date has been announced.
Williams is currently shooting the fantasy film "Oz: The Great and Powerful." Production began in July. Williams plays the witch Glinda, while James Franco plays the title role of the wizard. The movie also stars Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz and is set for release on March 8, 2013.
Williams recently said in an interview with Hobo magazine that she often dreams of "quitting acting," adding: "Walking away and becoming a laundress or a sous chef or maybe writing other people's love letters for a living. Clearly, I don't like to be in charge. And thinking of quitting is just keeping going in disguise. When you have options, anything is bearable. It's when a situation is inescapable that it becomes hell."
Check out the trailer for "My Week with Marilyn" below.
Reporting by George Pennacchio of KABC Television, parent company of OnTheRedCarpet.com that also produces the entertainment show "On The Red Carpet"(check for local TV listings).