Netflix has released a first look at Blonde, the highly-anticipated film coming to the streaming service on September 23, 2022. Rated NC-17 for some sexual content, the movie is based on the bestselling novel by Joyce Carol Oates.
Blonde boldly reimagines the life of Marilyn Monroe (played by Ana de Armas), exploring the split between her public and private selves.
From her volatile childhood as Norma Jeane, through her rise to stardom and romantic entanglements, Blonde blurs the lines of fact and fiction to explore the widening split between her public and private selves.
The cast also includes Caspar Phillipson, Toby Huss, Lily Fisher, Sara Paxton, David Warshofsky, Michael Masini, Spencer Garrett, Chris Lemmon, Rebecca Wisocky, Scoot McNairy, Dan Butler, Garret Dillahunt, Lucy Devito, and Ned Bellamy.
The producers are Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Tracey Landon, and Scott Robertson. Christina Oh is the executive producer.
“Andrew’s ambitions were very clear from the start – to present a version of Marilyn Monroe’s life through her lens,” says Ana de Armas (The Gray Man, No Time to Die, Knives Out) who stars as the Hollywood icon.
“He wanted the world to experience what it actually felt like to not only be Marilyn, but also Norma Jeane. I found that to be the most daring, unapologetic, and feminist take on her story that I had ever seen.”
“She’s deeply traumatized, and that trauma necessitates a split between a public self and a private self, which is the story of everyone, but with a famous person, that often plays out publicly, in ways that may cause additional trauma,” Dominik added.
“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.”
Similar to the novel, Blonde meticulously recreates iconic moments from Monroe’s life and career, including her show-stopping performance of “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” in Howard Hawks’s 1953 musical Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, but it also takes dramatic license with her life, featuring characters who are based on historical figures as well as amalgams of people she might have known.
“We worked on this film for hours, every single day for almost a year,” recalls de Armas. “I read Joyce’s novel, studied hundreds of photographs, videos, audio recordings, films – anything I could get my hands on. Every scene is inspired by an existing photograph. We’d pore over every detail in the photo and debate what was happening in it.”
She added: “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.”
About the NC-17 rating, Dominik said: “The film is sincere. It’s made with love. It’s made with good intentions. But it’s full of rage at the same time. I seem to get myself in these situations where people regard me as provocative, but it’s never what I’m trying to do. I’m just trying to say it as clearly as I can. My ambition is to make you fall in love with Marilyn.”