The Marilyn Monroe biopic starring Ana de Armas has been at the forefront of controversy due to its explicit rating.

Although Andrew Dominik — the director behind the upcoming Marilyn Monroe drama Blonde — has made it clear he had no qualms about making an NC-17 film, he recently admitted in a new interview that even he was "surprised" when the rating was announced, because he thought "we'd colored inside the lines."

"But I think if you've got a bunch of men and women in a boardroom talking about sexual behavior, maybe the men are going to be worried about what the women think," Dominik told Vulture. "It's just a weird time. It's not like depictions of happy sexuality. It's depictions of situations that are ambiguous. And Americans are really strange when it comes to sexual behavior, don't you think? I don't know why. They make more porn than anyone else in the world."

Ana de Armas and Andrew Dominik
Actress Ana de Armas and director Andrew Dominik's 'Blonde' film has received an NC-17 rating
| Credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage; Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Last month, Dominik compared the film to iconic classics like Raging Bull and Citizen Kane, saying, "The whole idea of Blonde was to detail a childhood drama and then show the way in which that drama splits the adults into a public and private self. And how the adult sees the world through the lens of that childhood drama, and it's sort of a story of a person whose rational picture of the world as being overwhelmed by her unconscious, and it uses the iconography of Marilyn Monroe."

Controversy over Blonde's NC-17 denotation has been at the forefront ever since rumors began surfacing that the Ana de Armas-led film would have a restrictive rating that is rarely used for mainstream releases because it denotes graphic sexual content. The movie is based the novel by Joyce Carol Oates, who called a rough cut of the film "startling, brilliant, very disturbing."

Armas, for her part, called the role "the most intense work I've ever done as an actress" and told EW that it took her a year to prepare for shooting. "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," she said, adding, "It was the most beautiful thing I've ever done."

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