A sophomore at St. Mary’s University in Twickenham, England, faints and has an encounter with Marilyn Monroe’s ghost.

“I don’t think anyone has ever done ‘the ghost of Marilyn Monroe,’ so it’s original from that point of view,” said actor Lisa Ann Capozzi, a native Minnesotan who just self-published her 2015 master’s thesis in fiction as the e-book “Marilyn Returns.”

It’s a fantasy about Alex, who is trying to figure out if beauty brings popularity and success. Learning the secret of time travel, Alex visits the A-list — Monroe, John Lennon, Michelangelo, Queen Liliuokalani and Charles Dickens. Alex “goes on to play little tricks on people with Marilyn, the ghost,” Capozzi said.

In researching the book, “I interviewed photographer Joseph Jasgur, who met Marilyn when she was Norma Jeane and wanted to be a model. I went to Marilyn’s grave site,” said Capozzi of the cemetery space that got renewed attention in 2017 when Hugh Hefner died. “Hefner wanted to be buried next to her, so when Marilyn died he paid for her vault and then he bought the one next to her. Ken and I looked at vaults one section over, but he said we are too young.”

Lisa and her actor husband, Ken Capozzi, who spent a stint living in Hawaii, returned to L.A. area a couple of years ago. In addition to acting, Ken — who’s up for a role in the upcoming film “The Christmas Cabin” — is currently looking for a Christmas movie or artist to record “That’s What Christmas Means to Me,” a song he co-wrote with Larry Antonino from Pablo Cruise.

Ken noted that auditioning has “changed as we have gotten older. Because we are character actors, parts for us aren’t as plentiful as they used to be, but we still go.”

Said Lisa: “One of the last things I did was stand in for Rebel Wilson on a commercial. I continue to get more stand-in work for movie stars. [Stand-in work] means you go there and they light you because you are the same height or the same shape. The last thing you wrote about us was the stand-in work I did for Melissa McCarthy on the movie ‘Tammy.’ I also did stand-in work for a famous Minnesota comedian who plays a woman on his hit FX show.”

Lisa’s NDA made her cautious about dropping that name, but I think we know who.

 

Q: How did you get the idea for this book?

A: That’s a good question. I just have always had a fascination with Marilyn Monroe and her life and stardom. I also had read a lot of quotes from her and how she really had a sad personal life.

 

Q: What was the price she paid for fame?

A: Not having privacy and not having true love.

 

Q: Could Marilyn have had privacy and been a star in that era?

A: I don’t think so. Back then, you couldn’t really have privacy; the studios owned you. She was a very smart woman if you read about her. Well-read. I admired that about her. She never really met her true [love]. Arthur Miller was one of her husbands; they loved each other, but I think she kind of chose her career over that marriage.

 

Q: Was appearing spacey a strategy for surviving in Holly­wood?

A: I think, back then, yeah. I think it continues to change but slowly. Smart women can make a difference in Holly­wood, but it’s still run by men.

 

Q: What have you realized about yourself as you researched Marilyn?

A: I would never compare myself to Marilyn, but in doing research I have come to realize ... I’ve got a bit of her glamour in me. Inside I still feel glamorous and special. I like to think I am pretty intelligent, well-read. My life is so fortunate in that I did find the love of my life. Ken is the best, and this magical mystery tour that we’ve had — 22 years of marriage — we’ve shared it in the business and continue to be in the business but it’s not a priority. Our lives, our little dog, our happiness is primary, not fame and fortune.

 

Q: Any theories about what precipitated Marilyn’s untimely demise?

A: I think in her heart she had already died. She was heartbroken because she was alone. I feel that. I kind of think she accidentally overdosed, like so many stars, like Prince [who would have been 60 Thursday; Marilyn would have been 92 June 1] and so many other stars who are brilliant. Sometimes they don’t have someone to caretake when they rise to stardom like that. There are so many who don’t have anyone to mind their backs.

C.J. can be reached at cj@startribune.com and seen on Fox 9’s “Buzz.”