Bette Davis Had Kind Words About Working With Marilyn Monroe On All About Eve

Marilyn Monroe has never quite left our cultural stratosphere due in part to her tragic death and other elements. With the upcoming controversial film "Blonde" about to be dropped on Netflix on September 28, interest in Monroe has once again skyrocketed. And rather than focus on the heavily fictionalized elements that make up the film (and subsequently, the novel it is based off on), we're going to go back in time to one of Monroe's first film roles in "All About Eve."

Hot off of her successful role in "The Asphalt Jungle," she was cast in the small role of Claudia Caswell. Caswell was designed as an ambitiously ditzy actress with an eye on working her way up the career ladder. Thanks to Monroe's star quality and comedic timing, the role soon became a memorable one. But it wasn't without its struggle. She was reportedly so nervous to work with star Bette Davis that she had to go offstage at one point to vomit after messing up one too many times. This is on top of forgetting her lines, requiring multiple takes, and leaving her cast members late with frequent bouts of tardiness.

Despite the overwhelming anxiety and struggles Monroe had on the set of "All Above Eve," years later Bette Davis would comment on the actress in a surprisingly positive light. If you have any background knowledge of the legendary Davis, you'd know that this was no small thing. Kindness and praise was hard to come by from Davis.

'She had talent'

During her interview on the Stanley Siegel show back in 1977, the topic of Marilyn Monroe came up. Despite all the difficulties with the young actress on the set of "All About Eve," Davis had nothing but kind things to say. 

"Oh, I knew she had a long way to go. Definitely, no question, I knew she was going to make it. She was a very ambitious girl, [and] knew what she wanted [and was] very serious about it." She later added, "I thought she had talent," and noted how the camera loved Monroe as well.

Bette Davis has always been blunt and to-the-point, which has marked her as both difficult to work with but also someone you can trust to give it to you straight. While many now know her more for her legendary feud with Joan Crawford, Davis was a phenomenal actress. She took the craft of acting incredibly seriously and it showed in all of her efforts onscreen.

Knowing the seriousness she had towards the acting profession, her reflection of Monroe and her efforts makes sense. While many have dismissed Monroe as having no talent, she worked incredibly hard (some would say too hard at times to the point of stalling) on her craft. It's a bittersweet comfort to know that Davis had such nice things to say given Monroe's life trajectory. But Davis's words live on for all of us to hear, read, and reflect on.