Ana de Armas is calling out the continued double standard for Marilyn Monroe’s life and legacy.
The “Blonde” actress, who stars in Andrew Dominik’s portrait of late icon Monroe, addressed the NC-17 rating received by the Netflix film. “Blonde” is set to premiere at the 2022 Venice Film Festival before debuting on the streamer September 28.
“I didn’t understand why that happened,” de Armas told L’Officiel. “I can tell you a number of shows or movies that are way more explicit with a lot more sexual content than ‘Blonde.’ But to tell this story it is important to show all these moments in Marilyn’s life that made her end up the way that she did. It needed to be explained.”
She continued, “Everyone [in the cast] knew we had to go to uncomfortable places. I wasn’t the only one.”
Writer/director Dominik previously told Vulture that the film “colored inside the lines” when telling Monroe’s tragic story of abuse.
“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 said. “It’s just a weird time. It’s not like depictions of happy sexuality. It’s depictions of situations that are ambiguous.”
The “Killing Them Softly” director added, “It’s dangerous to do other people’s thinking for them. Who knows? On the one hand, I think if I’m given the choice, I’d rather go and see the NC-17 version of the Marilyn Monroe story. Because we know that her life was on the edge, clearly, from the way it ended. Do you want to see the warts-and-all version or do you want to see that sanitized version?”
Dominik additionally noted that “Blonde” could only be made after the #MeToo movement began. “It’s a film that definitely has a morality about it,” he shared. “But it swims in very ambiguous waters because I don’t think it will be as cut-and-dried as people want to see it. There’s something in it to offend everyone.”
The “Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” director warned that audiences may be taken aback by the film being “critical of American sacred cows” like Joe DiMaggio (Bobby Cannavale), Arthur Miller (Adrien Brody), and President John F. Kennedy (Caspar Phillipson).
Pre-#MeToo, “nobody was interested in that sort of shit, what it’s like to be an unloved girl, or what it’s like to go through the Hollywood meat-grinder,” Dominik said earlier.
The Monroe estate also stood by the film and de Armas’ controversial casting.
For all the details on “Blonde,” click here.