‘My Week With Marilyn’ chronicles a week in the life of Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams) in which she escapes the shackles of her Hollywood career and embraces British life with Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne). In the early summer of 1956, 23 year-old Colin Clark, just down from Oxford and determined to make his way in the film business, worked as a lowly assistant on the set of ‘The Prince and the Showgirl’, the film that famously united Sir Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh) and Marilyn Monroe, who was also on honeymoon with her new husband, the playwright Arthur Miller (Dougray Scott).

Nearly 40 years on, his diary account ‘The Prince, the Showgirl and Me’ was published, but one week was missing and this was published some years later as ‘My Week with Marilyn’ – this is the story of that week.  When Arthur Miller leaves England, the coast is clear for Colin to introduce Marilyn to some of the pleasures of British life; an idyllic week in which he escorted a Monroe desperate to get away from her retinue of Hollywood hangers-on and the pressures of work.  The biographical drama is directed by Simon Curtis and also stars the likes of Judi Dench, Julia Ormond, Derek Jacobi, Dominic Cooper and Emma Watson. Look out for ‘My Week with Marilyn’ in cinemas November 23rd in the US, and November 25th in the UK.

There are many layers to this film and the characters involved. Was that what originally appealed to you about this script?

Eddie Redmayne: Yes, it’s an amazing show and demonstration of filmmaking of that period, of a clash of two cultures, of two completely different ways of working. Thrown into the middle of it is this wide-eyed, naïve, overly-confident young man (laughs). He’s completely out of his depth but he’s having an extraordinary time within that context.

What appealed to me about the script is that it has this kind of fairy tale quality of the ordinary boy who gets to be involved with the icon of his dreams, albeit momentarily. I think within that context you have an amazing viewpoint on the world of making films, this period of the 1950’s, this spectrum of these incredibly unique individuals – in a world that has for me been fascinating since I was a child.

How was it for you playing Lucy?

Emma Watson: She’s a wardrobe girl, she’s lower middle class, she’s feisty, she’s very confident, very quick and very smart. Colin really meets his match in her, she’s not easily fooled – it was a great part. The minute I opened the script, that was it, boom! It was such a page turner, I couldn’t put it down and I so wanted to know what happened. Aside from Lucy’s part being a great role, I kept thinking, “Why hasn’t anyone made this movie yet?!” Because to me, Marilyn Monroe is just the most fascinating person, she had the most interesting life. And I think it has been pretty untapped. Also this take on it, from Colin Clarke’s perspective, I just think it’s genius. This story is so untold, and it was real, it was true, it really happened.

There are many contradictions to Colin in this story….

Eddie Redmayne: I think it starts at a place of….it’s that weird thing of being so distant from someone, and yet having a physical intimacy, in a sense that Colin’s job as a runner is to be everywhere and everything to everyone. So consequently even though you’re the bottom rung of the ladder, you have access to everything, your eyes are everywhere. It’s an interesting scenario because you’re the bottom of the hierarchy yet you have a lot of power because you have knowledge. So it starts with Colin seeing more of what’s going on behind the specifics that are happening on set, he sees what Laurence Olivier sees more than anybody else. Then he has to take Marilyn Monroe from the dressing room so he sees what’s going on in the dressing room, he has to go and collect her from home so he witnesses what is going on at home. He gets a more rounded perspective of the whole story of Marilyn Monroe.

How was it working with Michelle Williams on this film? She’s mesmerising as Marilyn.

Eddie Redmayne: I’m a huge admirer of her work, I think she’s a staggering actress and a really unique actress. The idea of “brave,” it gets thrown around quite a lot in our industry (laughs), but I think taking on that role, both Michelle and Kenneth Branagh, it’s dumbfounding. Seeing how meticulously she works through the movement, through the vocal, through the dance, through the text….it has been riveting, it has been a complete treat, she’s an extraordinary actress, it was a lot of fun.