I think Natasha genuinely cared very dearly about Marilyn, but I think she was at the same time very controlling. She taught her a lot of the typical ‘Marilyn’ mannerisms and gave her a few bad habits which Marilyn struggled to later undo. I feel a little sorry for Natasha because of how she was ‘cut off’ after dedicating a lot of time to Marilyn but at the same time I do understand Marilyn wanted a fresh start, I can’t imagine how hard it must have been working with Natasha while being married to Joe (they mutually disliked each other). I think their relationship may have survived it Natasha had taken a step back but I don’t think she was actually capable of doing that, I think she cared a bit too much about Marilyn for her own good.
Paula, too, I think meant well but I don’t think she should have been allowed on set with Marilyn. Marilyn relied too much on Paula’s direction, I think the story of her doing shot after shot of her walking down the stairs for Something’s Got to Give until Paula approved proves this. Marilyn had a natural ability and I think Paula’s presence inhibited her, it was enabling her to use her as a crutch when she felt insecure but also ‘kept her down’, if you will, if she felt confident with a take and Paula didn’t. I don’t think she meant harm but I definitely side with Marilyn’s directors that she shouldn’t have been allowed on the set. The Strasbergs definitely helped Marilyn but I think Marilyn would have been better off going by her own instincts while she was on set, I don’t think it affected any of her performances badly but I think filming may have been easier for her and for everyone she worked with if Marilyn wasn’t hearing conflicting things constantly from her actual director and from her acting coach.