Marilyn Monroe was a signature Hollywood icon that we know for her platinum blonde hair, her famously breathy voice, and that little beauty mark on her cheek. But Netflix’s Blonde will show audiences the inner turmoil the bombshell went through in the public eye based on the historical fiction book by Joyce Carol Oates. Knowing these are big shoes to fill, Ana de Armas spoke honestly about feeling “insecure” about playing Marilyn Monroe for Blonde.
It’s a lot of pressure to play someone based on a real-life person. Especially if this was a legendary Hollywood actress with a huge fan following and many personality traits people remember her for. Ana de Armas spoke to Empire about channeling her feelings of insecurity in preparing for the role helped her portray her character’s insecurity.
De Armas being a Cuban-Spanish actress presented the challenge of hiding her native accent, which isn’t always the easiest thing to do. After all, all of her past movies like No Time to Die and her latest action flick The Gray Man allowed her to use her own accent. When the second trailer of Blonde was released, social media users backlashed towards still being able to hear the 34-year-old actress’s natural dialect for the California native Marilyn Monroe. But this young actress actually made sure to do her research playing the Hollywood icon by working with a dialect coach for nine months and did ADR (automated dialogue replacement) sessions to get the accent right. She also used Oates’ source material to help her and analyzed over 700 photos of her character provided by director Andrew Dominik. So, you can’t say she wasn’t trying.
Ana de Armas also wanted fans to know that working on Blonde was a great experience for her and the set despite the heavy emotions she had to portray in each scene.
While it was a tough experience for Ana de Armas to be able to play Norma Jeane Mortenson, those who got to watch the Netflix film early were wowed by her performance. Marilyn Monroe's estate defended the film's casting choice as they felt de Armas captured Monroe’s “glamor, humanity, and vulnerability.” Blonde author Joyce Carol Oates praised de Armas for showing the ill-fated actress’s life from her perspective compared to the male gaze. Critics also had a lot of thoughts about Ana de Armas in that she did a great job fully embodying Marilyn Monroe in her voice and emotions. So clearly, the Knives Out actress must be doing something right.
Ana de Armas may have had her insecurities filling in the big shoes of Marilyn Monroe, but it doesn’t look like she’s gotten any complaints from those who have watched the Netflix drama themselves. You can see Blonde for yourself on your Netflix subscription on September 28th.
Just your average South Floridian cinephile who believes the pen is mightier than the sword.
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