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Ana de Armas goes through a rollercoaster of emotions as Marilyn Monroe in ‘Blonde’ teaser

  • June 17, 2022

Ana de Armas is stepping into the shoes of one of Hollywood’s most infamous blondes: Marilyn Monroe.

On Thursday, Netflix released the first photos and a teaser of the 34-year-old actress as Monroe in the upcoming movie “Blonde.”

The teaser begins with an upset Monroe crying in a dressing room before she gathers herself and flashes the movie star’s iconic smile.

It also shows de Armas recreating the late actress’s pose holding down her white dress in the famous subway scene in 1955’s “The Seven Year Itch,” Monroe getting crowded by paparazzi and other recognizable moments from her career.

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“Blonde,” an NC-17 film coming to Netflix on Sept. 23, is based on Joyce Carol Oates’ bestselling novel.

Netflix writes in the synopsis: “Blonde boldly reimagines the complicated life of icon Marilyn Monroe. Blurring the lines of fact and fiction, the film artfully explores the tension between her public and private life.”

The film will also explore Monroe’s life before fame as Norma Jeane, her rise to becoming one of Hollywood’s biggest stars and romantic relationships along the way.

In an interview with Netflix Queue on Wednesday, de Armas said director Andrew Dominik planned to tell Monroe’s story “through her lens.”

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“He wanted the world to experience what it actually felt like to not only be Marilyn, but also Norma Jeane,” she explained. “I found that to be the most daring, unapologetic, and feminist take on her story that I had ever seen.”

In preparation, the actress says she “read Joyce’s novel, studied hundreds of photographs, videos, audio recordings, films — anything I could get my hands on.”

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“Every scene is inspired by an existing photograph. We’d pore over every detail in the photo and debate what was happening in it,” de Armas shared. “The first question was always, ‘What was Norma Jeane feeling here?’ We wanted to tell the human side of her story. Fame is what made Marilyn the most visible person in the world, but it also made Norma the most invisible.”

Dominik added that because of Monroe’s trauma, she created a “split between a public self and a private self” which made matters worse when she was in the public eye.

“The film’s very much concerned with the relationship with herself and with this other persona, Marilyn, which is both her armor and the thing that is threatening to consume her,” he said.

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Monroe’s life and legacy has gained renewed interest after Kim Kardashian wore a historic Monroe dress to the 2022 Met Gala in May.

An expert closely familiar with the dress told USA TODAY Wednesday, Kardashian appeared to permanently damage the skin-tight, sparkling nude dress Monroe wore while singing “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy in 1962, designed by Bob Mackie.

ChadMichael Morrissette, a visual artist who curates museum and costume exhibits, says he observed irreparable damage to the dress when he saw it on display Sunday at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. Morrissette says he previously handled the dress in 2016 when he displayed it for Julien’s Auctions, where Ripley’s purchased it for $4.8 million.

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Morrissette took photos of the dress Sunday, which he shared with Monroe memorabilia collector Scott Fortner, who reposted them on Instagram to compare how the dress looked before Kardashian wore it. 

USA TODAY has reached out to representatives for Kardashian and Ripley’s for comment.

“Marilyn wore it one night, and it was fit to her body. It was like skin on her body,” says Morrissette.

Sixty years later, Kardashian worked with Ripley’s to wear it to the Met Gala. According to Vogue, she only wore the dress for a matter of minutes before changing into a replica so as not to damage the original.

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I’m extremely respectful to the dress and what it means to American history. I would never want to sit in it or eat in it or have any risk of any damage to it, and I won’t be wearing the kind of body makeup I usually do,” Kardashian told Vogue at the time. “Everything had to be specifically timed, and I had to practice walking up the stairs.”

However, Morrissette says it’s clear to any textile expert the dress should not have been worn at all.

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