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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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him that I wanted to do this piece about Marilyn for Esquire. Of course he was amused that I had worked this all out. He said, “Well, this afternoon she'll be making stills.” They were filming Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. He said, “She and Jane Russell will be posing for the stills all afternoon. Come on over. You'll have plenty of time to talk to her.” So I went over to the lot and, sure enough, here were these two girls, Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe, dressed in very little. It was the costume that they used in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes with the high hats and boys‘pants on and little roses in the proper places. What was interesting while I was watching was that Jane Russell, the veteran who had been in about eight pictures already and was a big star, had to be posed. Marilyn, whose first big picture this was, just fell into a sexy pose by instinct. They didn't have to touch her. She just naturally assumed the sexiest, most alluring position. When they were fiddling about with Miss Russell, changing her arms and her legs and the tilt of her head, Monroe did it as though she had been born to it--which indeed she was. Well, I started talking to her after this thing was finished. I was as alone with her as I would be in a crowded subway train. There were agents, musicians, managers, other newspapermen all crowding around her. She was as nice as she could be, but being pestered from all sides.

I said, “I thought we were going to be alone for a few minutes. You've got to give me a little time alone. Otherwise I can't do this story.” I must explain to you

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