You Gotta Act: The Extreme Sincerity of Meredith Hagner


What made Marilyn Monroe more than just another sex symbol — Hollywood in the 40s and 50s had plenty to offer — was her acting talent and its specific genuineness. However air-headed or calculative her characters were, Monroe portrayed them with total commitment, so unafraid of ridicule that she went beyond any accusations of parody. Say what you will about her hopelessly romantic singer and ukulele player Sugar in Some Like It Hot, Monroe respects her character and gives her exuberant girlishness and naivety her all. She turns what could easily have been a live Jessica Rabbit into a three dimensional character that you can find deeply silly but can’t help empathising with.

There’s something of Monroe’s unabashed authenticity and femininity to Meredith Hagner, the rising star of television and film who made me laugh more than any of her co-stars in TBS’s Search Party(and the competition was tough).