Ana de Armas says new Marilyn Monroe biopic Blonde is 'the most intense work I've ever done'
Director Andrew Dominik recently described his upcoming Marilyn Monroe biopic, Blonde, as "a movie for all the unloved children of the world," adding, "It's like Citizen Kane and Raging Bull had a baby daughter."
But what does the film's star, Knives Out actress Ana de Armas, think of her new Netflix project? When EW spoke with her in 2019, while she was shooting the erotic thriller Deep Water with Ben Affleck, de Armas heaped on the praise for Blonde.
"It was the most intense work I've ever done as an actress," she said. "It took me a year to prepare for that — research and accent and everything you can imagine. Reading material, and talking to Andrew Dominik for months, and getting ready to start. It was three months of shooting nonstop — like, a crazy schedule."
But she adds, "It was the most beautiful thing I've ever done. Can't wait for it to come out. It's a very special film, and Andrew's a genius. He's one of the best filmmakers I've ever worked with."
Around the time de Armas shot Blonde, she was also prepping for and shooting her role as a 007-assisting spy in the James Bond film No Time to Die.
"I was preparing for Blonde, and then the film got pushed, and I got called for No Time to Die," she said. "I went to London, and I only had like 10 days to two weeks of training, which is not much for everything I had to do, which made me very nervous."
She continued, "And then, on top of that, Daniel [Craig, who plays Bond] got injured and I had to postpone my shoot and go back to do Marilyn Monroe, which is completely different from everything else — emotionally, mentally, and physically — and then three months later go back to London and go back to being a Bond girl. All that training I did was kind of gone and forgotten! But it all worked out, and I was working with the best team possible, and they made it happen, so I'm happy with it."
EW has reached out to Netflix for more information on Blonde, including the reason for its reported NC-17 rating, which is rarely given to mainstream releases and often denotes graphic nudity and/or sexual content. The film is currently eyeing a festival run later this year.
Blonde is based on a book written by Joyce Carol Oates, who previously said she saw an early cut of the project and was impressed.
"It is startling, brilliant, very disturbing & [perhaps most surprisingly] an utterly 'feminist' interpretation," she tweeted in August 2020. "Not sure that any male director has ever achieved anything [like] this."
In addition to Armas, Blonde stars Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody as Monroe's third husband and playwright Arthur Miller, with Bobby Cannavale playing famed baseball player and Monroe's second husband Joe DiMaggio.
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