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Ana de Armas Visited Marilyn Monroe’s Grave Before ‘Blonde’ to Ask ‘Permission’ to Play Her

"Everyone felt a huge responsibility," de Armas said of the Andrew Dominik-helmed portrait of Monroe.

Blonde

“Blonde”

Netflix

Ana de Armas felt Marilyn Monroe’s presence while filming “Blonde.”

The actress, who portrays the “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” icon in Andrew Dominik’s NC-17 portrait for Netflix, revealed that she visited Monroe’s grave to ask for “permission” to play her onscreen.

“We got this big card, and everyone in the crew wrote a message to her,” de Armas said in a recent AnOther magazine cover story. “Then we went to the cemetery and put it on her grave. We were asking for permission in a way. Everyone felt a huge responsibility, and we were very aware of the side of the story we were going to tell — the story of Norma Jeane, the person behind this character, Marilyn Monroe. Who was she really?”

“Blonde” is currently in theaters and premieres on Netflix September 28. The film made its world debut at the 2022 Venice Film Festival. It charts Monroe’s childhood through her rise to fame and death in 1962 after a drug overdose. “Blonde” is based on Joyce Carol Oates’ novel of the same name.

De Armas has previously explained that it wasn’t her intention to “imitate” Monroe onscreen, and instead brought her own embodiment to the “Some Like It Hot” star’s “feelings, her journey, her insecurities, and her voice.” De Armas confirmed she did not practice method acting for the grueling “Blonde” that, according to director Dominik, is a “warts-and-all version” of Monroe’s life story. The film has been criticized for its portrayal of Monroe’s rumored numerous abortions and its violent rape sequences.

“Don’t get me wrong, I had so much fun,” de Armas said of playing Monroe. “I wasn’t by any means in character for nine weeks, not between takes, not in my lunch break. I was Ana. But emotionally? The weight of it stayed with me for sure.”

De Armas continued, “There was no way to unplug because I’d get home and study for the next day and then Andrew was on the phone until midnight.”

The “No Time to Die” alum believed that Monroe’s presence was with her on set and that she felt as though Monroe was “approving” of the film.

“I would go to sleep and dream I had long conversations with her, or little things — like once we were choosing which color vase we’d put flowers in,” de Armas said. “I don’t want it to seem like I’m saying, ‘Marilyn and I were connected’ — not at all. But I was thinking of her so much, some days I would go home and have dinner and as I was washing the dishes I would just start sobbing, crying and crying, because I had this terrible feeling — I knew I couldn’t fix it.”

During the Venice Film Festival press conference earlier this year, de Armas said that Monroe was “all I thought about, she was all I dreamed about, she was all I could talk about. She was with me, and it was beautiful. I think she was happy.”

Writer/director Dominik agreed, adding, “We were kind of chasing her ghost around. Her dust is everywhere in Los Angeles.”

For all the details on “Blonde,” click here.

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