Would Marilyn Monroe Like Blonde? Ana de Armas and Andrew Dominik Think Yes
Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe in Blonde courtesy of Netflix

Marilyn Monroe died on Aug. 4, 1962, exactly 57 years to the day before Andrew Dominik and Ana de Armas began filming Blonde, a drama about her life based on the novel by Joyce Carol Oates. Monroe obviously isn’t around today to watch the movie — but Dominik and de Armas are confident that if she could see it, she would like it.

“I don’t think she’d think the film was accurate in a factual sense,” Dominik tells MovieMaker. “I think she’d appreciate the attempt at someone trying to see her experience.”

“Maybe relieved, as well,” de Armas adds.

“I feel like it is a side of the story that hasn’t been told,” she says. “Just flipping the coin for once and just showing her perspective or her point of view or her struggles instead of just continuing with this idea of glamor and fame and success and happiness, and these beautiful images and pictures, and all of that, and being an idol. I could not imagine something harder than that. The expectations and the pressure that puts on someone, it’s beyond anything. It’s not natural. We’re not supposed to carry that pressure.”

The Knives Out, No Time to Die, and Blade Runner 2049 actress knows a little something about the pressure of fame.

“I just imagine whatever my experience is, I multiply that by a thousand,” she says. “I could never even imagine what it was like, but I have an idea. I’m a woman, I’m in the industry. I’m a young actress. It’s a different world — we deal now with a different kind of pressure. So in many ways, I can definitely relate to that.”

More than anything, de Armas just wanted the movie to help people see Monroe “more as a human being.”

Though the culture has solidified Monroe’s place in history as not only a legend of the silver screen but also the gold standard of American beauty, Dominik wants to make one thing clear: “Marilyn Monroe was not respected in her lifetime,” he says.

“She was regarded as kind of a joke. And, you know, when you hear all the stories about her behavior, it’s all pretty appalling… Just not coming to work, and when you say, ‘Hey, how come you’re six hours late?’ She’d say, ‘I forgot where the studio was.’ The place that she’d been coming to for [years] — she’s a fucking nightmare, you know? She would have been. You hear [director] Billy Wilder’s stories about it, they’re just unbelievable. But those are all the stories about her that exist.”

Don’t let Dominik’s repeating of the old stories fool you — he’s completely enamored with the late actress. And he wanted to tell a story that honored the pain and suffering she went through.

“Nobody really is paying much attention to the fact that she’s had a miscarriage,” he says. “Which is what Joyce is basically pointing out — that there’s a sort of basic horror of the self and a desire to rescue the self which is projected outward.”

Blonde arrives on Netflix on Sept. 28 and is now in select theaters.

Main Image: Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe in Blonde, courtesy of Netflix.