Starring as the titular character is actress Ana De Armas who is known for her roles in “Blade Runner 2049,” “Knives Out,” and as the Bond girl in the most recent installment of the James Bond franchise “No Time To Die.”
Ahead of the debut of “Blonde” on the small screen, de Armas has now recounted details from the film production, including a shocking tidbit about visiting Monroe’s grave to ask for permission.
Read below for more details.
‘We Were Asking For Permission In A Way’
In an interview with AnOther magazine published Tuesday, the Cuban-Spanish actress revealed that she made a pilgrimage to Monroe’s marble crypt in Village Memorial Park, Los Angeles, just before she starred as the demised screen idol in the Netflix original movie “Blonde.”
“We got this big card, and everyone in the crew wrote a message to her,” de Armas shared, recalling how other crew members joined in on the act. “Then we went to the cemetery and put it on her grave. We were asking for permission in a way.”
The actress added that the weight of what they were trying to achieve with the film was a major factor behind the emotional act of visiting Monroe’s tomb.
She added, “Everyone felt a huge responsibility, and we were very aware of the side of the story we were going to tell – the story of Norma Jeane, the person behind this character, Marilyn Monroe. Who was she really?”
‘I Think She Was Happy’
In a press conference at the film’s premiere at the 2022 Venice Film Festival, de Armas disclosed some unlikely events that happened while they were filming “Blonde,” which seem to imply that the late actress granted them the green light to go ahead with the production.
“I truly believe that she was very close to us. She was with us,” de Armas said. “I think she was happy. She would also throw things off the wall sometimes and get mad if she didn’t like something. Maybe this sounds very mystical, but it is true. We all felt it.”
De Armas also discussed how deeply she immersed herself in the role she played in the movie, all through the length of the production.
She continued: “She was all I thought about, she was all I dreamt about, she was all I could talk about, she was with me, and it was beautiful.”
Ana De Armas Struggled To Imitate Marilyn Monroe’s Voice
However, though de Armas gave herself to the role, she still found it challenging to pull off Monroe’s voice for the film.
“I tried!” de Armas said, per Insider. “It only took me nine months of dialect coaching, and practicing, and some [automated dialogue replacement] sessions. It was a big torture, so exhausting. My brain was fried.”
Luckily for the star, she had the full backing of the film’s director Andrew Dominik. In a chat with reporters at the Venice Film Festival, he shared how he knew de Armas was the right person to incarnate Monroe despite her strong Spanish accent.
“I knew it was her as soon as I saw her on TV,” the filmmaker said, referencing de Armas’s 2015 film “Knock Knock.” It is a little bit like when you fall in love at first sight when the right person walks through the door, you know it.”
Ana De Armas In ‘Blonde’
The lengthy, arduous process of bringing “Blonde” to reality began when Dominik started writing the script in 2008. Several candidates for the role of Monroe were speculated for the part, including Jessica Chastain and Naomi Watts, until de Armas was finally chosen.
The plot centered on Monroe’s contrasting personal and professional life, delving deeply into her love issues, allegations of power abuse and exploitation, her drug usage, and many other sordid details.
Portions of the film were shot using black and white to portray significant occasions in Monroe’s life accurately. Along with using different aspect ratios, other areas were set in color. Starring also in the film were Adrien Brody, Bobby Cannavale, Xavier Samuel, and Julianne Nicholson.
“Blonde” debuts on Netflix on September 28.