In 1926, Norma Jean Mortenson was born in Los Angeles, California. In the late ’40s, Norma Jean began using the name “Mona Monroe” while posing nude for calendars. Finally, in 1956, the star changed her name to Marilyn Monroe, a name that remains synonymous with the blonde bombshell persona she created to this day.
In just 36 years of life, Marilyn Monroe became one of the biggest pop culture icons in history. In addition to being the face of the sexual revolution of the 1950s and ’60s, Marilyn was named one of the “greatest female screen legends from the Golden Age of Hollywood” by the American Film Institute.
People around the world were enthralled by Marilyn Monroe’s alluring looks and personality, not to mention the mystique that invariably surrounds a star of her caliber. Sadly, her death was also mired in mystery, with rumors circulating about the possible cause of death for decades since.
As the entire world has been captivated by Marilyn Monroe for close to a century, it’s no wonder that so much media has been created about her life. And now, another documentary has been added to the list: The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes, directed by Emma Cooper.
All you need to watch the newest creation following the life and legacy of Marilyn Monroe is a Netflix account! The documentary is a Netflix exclusive and premiered on the streaming site on April 27, 2022.
The Marilyn Monroe Documentary Director Isn’t a Huge Fan of the Hollywood Icon
When preparing for the Marilyn Monroe documentary, the Netflix team knew they had their work cut out for them. So much has already been said about Monroe, both before her death and since. The task of creating something new and interesting was a tough one.
To ensure that they achieved this fresh perspective, they hired Emma Cooper. Though the director knew of Marilyn, she was never a huge fan.
“I had never seen any of her films, I wasn’t hugely interested in her,” Cooper told IndieWire. “I found those stock images of her in the white dress. And I thought, ‘What is there for me to know? What is there for me to say about this?'”
Like most people, however, once Emma Cooper began researching Marilyn, she was hooked. A full 60 years after her death, Marilyn Monroe is still drawing people in with her unique charm. “It was kind of helpful because I had no baggage,” Cooper said. “And so I felt like I could really connect with the arc of her life. And also being questioning and not just accepting why certain things happened in certain ways.”
The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes, aims to give an honest look into Marilyn Monroe’s iconic life. To do so, Emma Cooper collected an immense amount of interviews from those closest to Monroe, many of which have never been heard.
“My obsession was to try and show her in a more multifaceted, more multidimensional way,” Cooper said. “And I felt like the resources of those tapes, of all those people who had known her, really drew me into figure out who she really was.”