From Bond girl to 'Blonde', Ana De Armas boldly embodies the life of Hollywood's most riveting icon in Netflix's latest offering. And if the crisp trailer is anything to go by, we can't hardly wait to see the 'Knives Out' star shine, thanks to her uncanny resemblance to Marilyn Monroe. The 50 second footage is a montage of iconic moments (the billowing white dress from 'Seven Year Itch' and the pink satin gown Marilyn wore while singing 'Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend'), ending with a spine-chilling laugh, mirroring the pain and trauma Norma Jeane Baker, aka Marilyn, endured behind the spotlight.
Even though the film adaptation of Joyce Carole Oates' historical fiction 'Blonde' has been in development since 2010, with Naomi Watts as lead back then, it wasn't until Netflix got the rights in 2016 that the project finally took off with Cuban actor, Ana De Armas set to play Marilyn.
A no-holds-barred look at the singer, model, and actor's life as the abused daughter of a single mother, to the most sought-after celebrity in the world, 'The Assassination of Jesse James By Coward Robert Ford' director, Andrew Dominik chronicles Monroe's life in studied detail. In Ana's interview in 'Netflix Queue', she says, "Andrew's ambitions were very clear from the start—to present a version of Marilyn Monroe's life through her lens. He wanted the world to experience what it felt like to not only be Marilyn, but also Norma Jeane." Armas recalls, "Every scene is inspired by an existing photograph. We would pour over every detail in the photo and debate what was happening in it. The first question was always, 'What was Norma Jeane feeling here?' We wanted to tell the human side of her story. Fame is what made Marilyn the most visible person in the world, but it also made Norma the most invisible."
Dominik seized the opportunity to dive into Monroe's inner psyche as he wanted to take an unflinching approach to encapsulating complex themes into his storytelling. The human cost of the Hollywood system, the power and perils of female sexuality, and the lifelong impact of childhood trauma was intentional. Made with love, the biopic is also full of rage at the same time, according to Andrew.
With a rare NC-17 rating given to the film for its sexually graphic content which also makes it Netflix's first 'adult-only' outing, Dominik in an interview with 'Screen Daily' in February had said, "Blonde is a demanding movie. There is something in it to offend everyone. If the audience doesn't like it, it's the f#***ng audience's problem. It's not running for public office."
Armas spent two-and-a-half hours to three hours in hair and makeup every morning for the film's 47-day-shoot, slipping into character as the cameras rolled and the spotlight turned to her. A stellar supporting cast with Adrien Brody as The Playwright, Bobby Canavale as the Ex-Athlete, and Julianne Nicholson as Norma Jeane's mother, 'Blonde' is also supposed to be part of August's Venice film festival lineup.
*"She's coming. She's almost here."*