1ST PHOTOS Lifetime miniseries The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe starring Kelli Garner and Susan Sarandon

Kelli Garner as Marilyn Monroe

Lifetime continues giving female entertainment icons the miniseries treatment, this time enlisting the help of of Academy Award winner Susan Sarandon for The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe set to air May 30 and 31st. Susan will play Marilyn’s mother Gladys Mortenson, who spent a great deal of time in an institution due to mental illness, and actress Kelli Garner (The Aviator, Pan Am) will take on the role of Norma Jeane Mortenson, aka Marilyn Monroe.

Here is a photo of Kelli and Susan together as mother and daughter:

Susan Sarandon Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe Lifetime miniseries

Much like actress Agnes Bruckner in the network’s original film Anna Nicole, Kelli Garner gets a rather stunning makeover to become Hollywood’s most memorable starlet. Here are side-by-side photos of Marilyn Monroe and Kelli Garner as Marilyn in which both are wearing the famous gold plunging neckline dress featured in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes:

Lifetime miniseries star Kelli Garner as Marilyn Monroe side-by-side

And of course Kelli will be recreating the memorable scene from The Seven Year Itch in which Marilyn Monroe’s white dress is blown up by an updraft from a subway grating:

Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe white dress updraft Seven Year Itch Kelli Garner

The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe is based on the New York Times best-selling book with the same tile by author J. Randy Taraborrelli and “uncovers many closely-guarded secrets the blonde bombshell kept from the public,” according to a Lifetime press release. The network further describes the four-hour event:

The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe begins with a portrait of a young Norma Jeane Mortenson as she battles a lonely and loveless existence with an absent mother. Despite the odds, Norma Jeane blossoms into a funny, smart and ambitious woman and soon reinvents herself to become the symbol of an era. She revels in stardom, yet remains a fragile artist, desperate for the approval and protection of men. The outside world never truly sees or understands the real Marilyn, a woman so different from her public persona. As her fame grows, all three of her marriages crumble beneath her quite publicly, including her relationships with Joe DiMaggio (Morgan) and Arthur Miller. Ultimately, Marilyn could never control her inner demons and the onslaught of mental illness inherited from her mother, Gladys (Sarandon) – a woman she loves, hates and wants desperately to save. Although the studio told the world that Marilyn’s mother was dead, it is the great secret of Marilyn’s life that Gladys remained a vital and troubling part of her world. As Marilyn cares for her mother, her obsession with President John F. Kennedy drives her over the edge and, ultimately, into an insane asylum. Still, as Marilyn Monroe soldiers on, she gives the performance of her life, successfully hiding her darkest secrets from the world.

Kelli Garner as Norma Jeane Mortenson in The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe Lifetime miniseries

In addition to Susan Sarandon and Kelli Garner, the cast includes:

Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee Emily Watson (Hilary and Jackie) as Grace McKee, Marilyn’s childhood guardian

Susan Sarandon’s daughter Eva Amurri Martino (Californication) as young Gladys Mortenson

Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Texas Rising, Magic City) as Joe DiMaggio:

Lifetime miniseries The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe Joe DiMaggio played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan

The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe premieres Saturday, May 30, and Sunday, May 31, at 8/7c on Lifetime.

Here are two more photos, beginning with Emily Watson and Susan Sarandon and then another with Susan as Gladys looking to be in pretty bad shape:

Emily Watson and Susan Sarandon in Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe Susan Sarandon as Gladys Mortenson

Photos: Lifetime (Phillippe Bosse, Danny Feld, Ben Mark Holzberg)

UPDATE – Here are some AMAZING behind-the-scenes Instagram shots from Kelli Garner:

This train has left the station! #Marilyn #Lifetime #CrabBibs

A photo posted by Kelli Garner (@kelli_garner) on

Surrounded by so many talented women #costumes #goingtothechapel #normajean #marilyn

A photo posted by Kelli Garner (@kelli_garner) on

Day 1 "We are all of us stars, and we deserve to twinkle " #Marilyn #itsshowtime #chanel #roses

A photo posted by Kelli Garner (@kelli_garner) on

Building Marilyn… #workingonasunday

A photo posted by Kelli Garner (@kelli_garner) on

I am woman. #maryquigley

A photo posted by Kelli Garner (@kelli_garner) on

Three Strong Women #moviemaking #Marilyn

A photo posted by Kelli Garner (@kelli_garner) on

Gettin wiggy with it #Marilyn

A photo posted by Kelli Garner (@kelli_garner) on

@sideoftheroadfilms thanks for the water #Marilyn

A photo posted by Kelli Garner (@kelli_garner) on

Hello from Santa Monica 1948! #moviemakingisatimemachine #Marilyn

A photo posted by Kelli Garner (@kelli_garner) on

It's just one of those days…

A photo posted by Kelli Garner (@kelli_garner) on

Babes.

A photo posted by Kelli Garner (@kelli_garner) on

Adventure wrapped! #Marilyn cred @midgefings

A photo posted by Kelli Garner (@kelli_garner) on



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