Andrew Dominik had been making an attempt to make a film about Marilyn Monroe for over a decade. The movie wouldn’t be a biopic, however an experiential portrait delving into the psyche of Marilyn Monroe and Norma Jeane. It saved falling aside, however the New Zealand native couldn’t let it go. Then he discovered Ana de Armas, and, he mentioned, Blonde got here alive.
“It was like love at first sight,” Dominik mentioned Thursday, earlier than the world premiere of the movie on the Venice International Film Festival. “When the right person walks through the door, you know it.”
The practically three-hour epic is predicated on a piece of biographical fiction by Joyce Carol Oates and examines the private and non-private lifetime of the Hollywood icon from her troubled childhood as Norma Jeane to her international stardom as Marilyn Monroe and numerous relationships alongside the way in which, from her mom (Julianne Nicholson) to her marriages to Joe DiMaggio (Bobby Cannavale) and Arthur Miller (Adrien Brody).
“I wasn’t very aware of Marilyn. I was familiar with some of her movies, but for me it was a huge discovery and learning process,” de Armas mentioned. “We wanted to honour her in the recreations where she was Marilyn, but I also had a lot of room to create the real woman underneath that character. It was about understanding and empathizing and connecting with her and her pain and her trauma.”
She added, “If you put aside the movie star she is, she’s just a woman, just like me. Same age. It was a project I knew I had to let myself open and go to places I knew were going to be uncomfortable and dark and vulnerable.”
Filming started on August 4, the day Marilyn Monroe died in 1962 at her dwelling in Los Angeles at age 36. It was an accident and simply the results of some delays. But it additionally was one in all many instances the filmmaker and his forged felt a considerably mystical connection to the topic of their movie. Though the story takes many liberties with the information of her life with the intent of attending to the reality of her life, the manufacturing did use actual areas just like the house she and her mom lived in when she was a toddler and the home she died in.
“It took on elements of being like a séance,” Dominik mentioned. Ana De Armas agreed that “there was something in the air” being in the identical locations Monroe had lived.
“I wasn’t in character all the time. But I felt that. I was living that. I felt that heaviness and that weight in my shoulders. And I felt that sadness,” de Armas mentioned. “She was all I considered. She was all I dreamed about. She was all I talked about… It was lovely. “
Blonde has been hotly anticipated for a while: For taking over a determine like Marilyn Monroe in an experimental approach, for its ranking, the primary ever NC-17 film that Netflix has made, a designation set by the Motion Picture Association that forbids these youthful than 17 from watching the movie within the theatre. There’s additionally curiosity round de Armas’s efficiency. The Cuba-born actor labored with a dialect coach for a 12 months to arrange.
“Storytelling that is as brave as this is essential,” her co-star Brody mentioned. And for him, de Armas did extra than simply play the function. She channelled the particular person. “The first day of filming, I went home with this sense of awe that I had the privilege of actually working with Marilyn Monroe,” Brody mentioned. “It’s very rare that I can say that someone transported me to another time and place.”
For Ana de Armas, it was concerning the problem. “I did this movie to push myself… to make other people change their opinion about me,” she mentioned, by way of some tears. “This movie changed my life.”
Blonde opens in choose theaters beginning September 16 earlier than turning into accessible on Netflix on September 23. It’s one in all many Oscar hopefuls launching in Venice, the place additionally it is among the many movies up for the competition’s awards on Saturday.