Kissing Marilyn Monroe Was "Awful," Famous Co-Star Claimed
Tony Curtis had a lot to say about their time working on Some Like It Hot.
It's hard to imagine that with Marilyn Monroe being such a huge star and iconic blonde bombshell, any of her co-stars would have negative things to say about sharing a kissing scene with her. Nevertheless, that is the case for the actor who worked with her on one of her biggest films, Some Like It Hot. In the years following the 1959 movie, Tony Curtis spoke out about kissing Monroe, and he did not have kind things to say.
Aside from taking issue with Monroe's kissing, Curtis also had some other complaints about being with her on set. And that's complicated by the fact that he claimed the two had an affair. Monroe died in 1962, so she was never able to share her side of the story or respond to the claims Curtis—who died in 2010—made over the years. Read on to see what he said about his famous co-star.
Marilyn Monroe and Tony Curtis starred in Some Like It Hot.
Monroe and Curtis starred in the 1959 romantic comedy Some Like It Hot alongside Jack Lemmon. The movie follows two men who pretend to be women to join a traveling band for money. Curtis' character falls for a fellow band member played by Monroe, and has to switch back and forth between his disguise as a female saxophone player and a separate disguise as a wealthy male oil heir.
He said kissing Monroe in the film was "awful."
During a scene in which Curtis' and Monroe's characters try to seduce each other on a yacht, they had to kiss. "It was awful," Curtis told the Daily Mail in 2008. "She nearly choked me to death by deliberately sticking her tongue down my throat into my windpipe."
Curtis also said that Monroe had "gone funny" when they were filming the movie, adding, "Her mind was all over the place. She had lost confidence."
Curtis previously said it was like "kissing Hitler."
Curtis infamously said that kissing Monroe was like "kissing Hitler," but he later walked back the comment and said he was joking. "Someone said to me, 'Hey, what's it like kissing Marilyn?' I said, 'It's like kissing Hitler. What are you doing asking me such a stupid question?'" he told The Guardian in 2008. "That's where it came from."
He also confirmed to the Daily Mail, "I said it as a joke. I mean, it was such a … stupid question, so I gave a stupid answer."
He claimed Monroe was difficult on set.
In 2001, Curtis told Entertainment Weekly that Some Like It Hot director Billy Wilder wanted Monroe to work on the movie "even though everybody was warning Billy that Marilyn was going to be a lot of trouble."
Curtis continued, "She did have difficulties. Showing up late. Spending all morning on one or two lines of dialogue. There was nothing laid back or amusing about Marilyn on that movie. She was drinking a lot on the set. I know she was drinking champagne out of coffee mugs when we were doing that scene [on the train]. She spilled some on me and I knew it was champagne."
Curtis also claimed that they had an affair.
According to Curtis, romancing Monroe on screen wasn't the only time they got together. In the Entertainment Weekly interview, he said that in 1949, they "ended up going out for about four or five weeks." Then, in his 2009 book, The Making of Some Like It Hot: My Memories of Marilyn Monroe and the Classic American Movie, he claimed that they had an affair during filming that resulted in a pregnancy that ended in a miscarriage, as reported by SFGATE.
At the time, Monroe was married to playwright Arthur Miller and Curtis was married to actor Janet Leigh. But with Monroe passing away only three years after the movie came out and long before Curtis began making these claims, it's impossible to know how much of his story is true.