"The weight of it stayed with me for sure. There was no way to unplug," de Armas said.
Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe in 'Blonde'

Ana de Armas not only channeled Marilyn Monroe on camera in the new fantastical pseudo biopic Blonde, she also channeled her at her grave site before production began.

"We got this big card and everyone in the crew wrote a message to her," de Armas told AnOther magazine in the publication's latest cover story. "Then we went to the cemetery and put it on her grave. We were asking for permission in a way. 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?"

De Armas and director Andrew Dominik attempt to answer that question in the reportedly explicit NC-17-rated film, which received an enthusiastic, sustained standing ovation after its world-premiere screening at the 2022 Venice International Film Festival. The road there, de Armas continued, wasn't easy, as the film — adapted from a Joyce Carol Oates book about the Hollywood icon — dissects the star's turbulent life, which ended in 1962 after a drug overdose.

"Don't get me wrong, I had so much fun. I wasn't by any means in character for nine weeks, not between takes, not in my lunch break. I was Ana," she said. "But emotionally? The weight of it stayed with me for sure. There was no way to unplug because I'd get home and study for the next day and then Andrew was on the phone until midnight. I would go to sleep and dream I had long conversations with her, or little things — like once we were choosing which color vase we'd put flowers in. I don't want it to seem like I'm saying, 'Marilyn and I were connected' — not at all. But I was thinking of her so much, some days I would go home and have dinner and as I was washing the dishes I would just start sobbing, crying and crying, because I had this terrible feeling — I knew I couldn't fix it."

Blonde. Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe
Ana de Armas in 'Blonde.'
| Credit: Netflix

The Knives Out and No Time to Die breakout previously said she believes the spirit of Monroe visited the set as they made the movie.

"I truly believe that she was very close to us. She was with us," de Armas told reporters in Venice. "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."

Blonde, which also stars Adrien Brody and Bobby Cannavale as Monroe's husbands, Arthur Miller and Joe DiMaggio, is now playing in select theaters before hitting Netflix on Sept. 28.

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Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe in 'Blonde'
Blonde (2022 movie)

Ana de Armas stars in this impressionistic portrait of Marilyn Monroe's life adapted from Joyce Carol Oates' fictionalized biographical novel.


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