iconic Marilyn Monroe in performance routines. What have you found most challenging and rewarding about that?
McPhee: In my first audition, it was my character singing the iconic Happy Birthday, Mr President song. I felt quite comfortable singing that because she had a very fast vibrato and it is very breathy. When I started in the series, I put a lot of pressure on myself to really feel like Marilyn. But it does not have to be an exact impersonation of her. Getting her essence is what I have been obsessing about. Internally, I have been nervous about it.
Hilty: I find it terrifying because there is no right way to do it. Neither of us will be a perfect Marilyn. But we both had to be OK with what we bring to the role while paying homage to who she was, her essence, as well as staying true to ourselves through the performance so that it stays grounded in reality. If you only mimic someone, there is no truth in it. You will have to strike a balance between paying homage to Marilyn and bringing yourself to it. In that way, it can be honest, moving, funny and touching. Otherwise, it is just somebody dancing around in a wig and a dress.
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