‘That Really Upsets Me’: Jessica Lange On Being Compared To Marilyn Monroe In The 1970s; Find Out Why

Jessica Lange was compared to a fellow blonde in the 70s to her dislike! The actress shared being "upset" over the comparison at the time but had good intention behind it!

Published on Jun 02, 2024  |  09:43 PM IST |  47.9K
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Jessica Lange (via Getty Images)

Jessica Lange didn’t want to be “the next Marilyn Monroe!” The American Horror Story actress's resemblance to fellow blonde beauty Marilyn Monroe was uncanny. When Lange debuted with King Kong in 1976, producer Dino De Laurentiis quickly compared her to the Some Like It Hot actress. 

 

Jessica Lange did not like being compared to Marilyn Monroe

The two-time Oscar-winning actress made her mark in the industry through remarkable roles like Frances Farmer in 1982’s Frances and Patsy Cline in 1985’s Sweet Dreams, to name a few. In a recent interview with People, the actress recalled when Italian producer Laurentiis discovered and predicted her success and deemed her “the next Marilyn Monroe!”

While the comparison to Monroe might be flattering to some, Lange's reaction was one of respect and admiration. She felt “upset” over the comparison, not because she didn’t appreciate Monroe's legacy but because she didn’t want to compete with her memory or with anyone.  

“She was a tragic figure who led a tragic life and who wasn’t taken as the serious artist she was,” Lange said on People’s 1997 cover. The actress has since moved on from her fear of comparison as she told People in a recent interview that she would love to play Marlene Dietrich in a biopic she is developing. 

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How did Lange land her breakthrough role in King Kong?

The Tootsie actress landing the role of the damsel in distress Dwan in the modern retelling of the 1933 monster movie was a happy accident. She started working a day job when someone suggested she apply for modeling. 

Although she didn’t land any modeling gigs, she was sent to audition for King Kong when the producer asked for a model aspiring to be an actress. She eventually got the part, and the rest is history! Talking about the film, she recalled shooting “a great deal of that schedule shooting by myself on a green screen and in a hydraulic giant gorilla hand.”

Her co-star at the time, Charles Grodin, gave her a hopeful insight that made her love being an actress. She recalled Grodin telling her, “‘This isn’t what movies are like. When you finish this one, just remember there’ll never be another, nothing like this.’ And it was [true],” Lange said. 

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The Cape Fear actress is currently starring in Paula Vogel’s Tony-nominated Mother Play on Broadway and starred as Lillian Hall in HBO’s The Great Lillian Hall.

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