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Ana de Armas in ‘Blonde’: Marilyn Monroe estate ‘can’t wait’ to see de Armas as Monroe

  • August 02, 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 full-length trailer of “Blonde,” showing Monroe tormented by fame.

“I know you’re supposed to get used to it, but I just can’t. I’ve played Marilyn Monroe, Marilyn Monroe, Marilyn Monroe … I can’t face doing another scene with Marilyn Monroe,” de Armas, 34, says as the iconic blonde. 

In a conversation with a reporter, she adds: “Marilyn doesn’t exist. When I come out of my dressing room, I’m Norma Jeane. I’m still her when the camera’s rolling. Marilyn Monroe only exists on the screen.”

The trailer for the NC-17 film, which hits Netflix on Sept. 28, features Monroe on the verge of tears as flashes of her life pass including relentless paparazzi, her relationships with various men and her spiral while being trapped as a Hollywood icon. 

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

Based on Joyce Carol Oates’ bestselling novel, “Blonde” “boldly reimagines the complicated life of icon Marilyn Monroe,” according to the Netflix synopsis. “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.

Ana de Armas:Jamie Lee Curtis feels ‘real embarrassment’ for assuming Cuban-Spanish actress ‘just arrived’ in US

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

“Every scene is inspired by an existing photograph,” de Armas shared. “The first question was always, ‘What was Norma Jeane feeling here?’ … Fame is what made Marilyn the most visible person in the world, but it also made Norma the most invisible.”

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Marilyn Monroe estate defends casting of Ana de Armas

De Armas became the subject of social media criticism following the release of the “Blonde” trailer, with some noting de Armas’ Spanish accent in the role. In a statement to Variety published Monday, the Marilyn Monroe Estate came to the defense of the Cuban-born actress. 

“Marilyn Monroe is a singular Hollywood and pop culture icon that transcends generations and history,” Marc Rosen, president of entertainment at Authentic Brands Group (which owns the Marilyn Monroe Estate) told Variety. “Any actor that steps into that role knows they have big shoes to fill.

“Based on the trailer alone, it looks like Ana was a great casting choice as she captures Marilyn’s glamour, humanity and vulnerability. We can’t wait to see the film in its entirety!”

De Armas previously told The Times of London in January 2021 that she underwent extensive vocal training in preparing for her portrayal of Monroe, including “nine months of dialect coaching” and “some ADR sessions (rerecording dialogue after filming).”

“It was a big torture, so exhausting,” de Armas told the British outlet. “My brain was fried.” 

Kim Kardashian renewed interest in Marilyn Monroe after Met Gala dress controversy

Kim Kardashian wore a historic Monroe dress to the 2022 Met Gala in May.

An expert closely familiar with the dress told USA TODAY on June 15 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.

‘Literally ruined’:Kim Kardashian accused of damaging historic Marilyn Monroe dress at Met Gala

ChadMichael Morrissette, a visual artist who curates museum and costume exhibits, said he observed irreparable damage to the dress when he saw it on display on June 12 at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. Morrissette said he previously handled the dress in 2016 when he displayed it for Julien’s Auctions, where Ripley’s purchased it for $4.8 million.

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

Related:Kim Kardashian left historic Marilyn Monroe dress in ‘same condition it started in,’ Ripley’s says

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

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,” Kardashian told Vogue at the time.

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

“When you’re dealing with 60-year-old material and fabric and thread and sequins … everything you do damages it. Every time you display it damages it,” he says.

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Ripley’s, known for its archive of pop culture memorabilia, refuted Morrissette’s allegations in a press release on June 16. Kardashian “did not, in any way, damage the garment in the short amount of time it was worn at the Met Gala.” 

“From the bottom of the Met steps, where Kim got into the dress, to the top where it was returned, the dress was in the same condition it started in,” said Amanda Joiner, Ripley’s VP of Publishing and Online Marketing. Joiner was “continuously with the dress the day of the Gala and during transport from Orlando to New York.”

Contributing: Charles Trepany, Edward Segarra

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