Actress Kelli Garner

Tomorrow marks the start of Lifetime’s two-day miniseries (airing at 8 pm Saturday and Sunday) The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe. Actress Kelli Garner will star as Marilyn, one of our favorite Hollywood icons. We couldn’t help but feature the present-day actress playing her; she’s someone whose look we wanted to make sure to capture. Also turns out Garner loves spicy ramen, hot yoga and dropping timelines (we think Marilyn would be proud)…


From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day? 

Ideally, I love to start my day with spicy Ramen with an extra egg. I know it’s bizarre but I can’t stop. Then I would have some sushi for lunch and maybe for dinner too.

What are your morning and nightly beauty routines?

I don’t have a beauty routine. I’m lucky if I wash my face at night.

How do you practice beauty from the inside out?

Hot yoga for detox and stretch, mindfulness, dancing in the mornings, and any form of meditation.

What did you discover about Marilyn Monroe in playing her?

That sometimes it takes work to be happy.

Any surprises about yourself? 

That I function well when I stop being afraid.

How did you prepare for the role?

Singing, dancing and watching everything I could get my hands on. I also worked with my great friend and coach Joel Michaely. He thinks I’m the baddest bitch in town.

Advice you’d give your younger self…

Drop a timeline.

Beauty or fashion habits you took from Marilyn…

The tighter the better.

What are your favorite cities for food? What restaurants do you go to in each?

In Los Angeles, I love INK by chef Michael Voltaggio and Chibiscus Ramen. In New York City, I still can’t get enough Momofuku.

If you could host a dinner party with any five people living or dead, who would be there? What would you cook?

Listen, I would cook Ina Garten’s whole Lemon Chicken with Croutons because it’s delicious, simple to prepare and really cooks itself. It’s beautiful to present and I cook it all the time.

Let’s go with five great women. I have to start with Marilyn of course. I have so many questions for her. Oprah Winfrey for spirituality, Hilary Clinton for political fare, Fiona Apple so she can sing her poetry for us as dessert, and my mother. I’d want my mother to be there with me. She’d end up cooking the chicken.


*Kelli Garner, photographed in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann. Kelli wears a BCBG top.

Love Kelli? You’ll also love reading about Sara & Erin Foster, Jaime King, and Laura Carmichael.