Andrew Dominik’s controversial latest, which adapts Joyce Carroll Oates’ cinderblock tome of liberally interpreted biography, has divided critics for the unrelenting cruelty it imparts on its subject. Debate continues to rage as to whether it should be taken as a true-to-life interpretation of Monroe’s life story or out-and-out historical fiction — but whatever the case, de Armas clearly thought Monroe herself was having her say.
“I truly believe that she was very close to us. She was with us,” said the 34-year-old, who rose to prominence with her starring role opposite Daniel Craig in Rian Johnson’s popular Whodunnit revival, Knives Out. The actress strikes a startling resemblance to Monroe in the pic, though it’s pointedly not an all-out impersonation.
“I think she was happy. She would also throw things off the wall sometimes and get mad if she didn’t like something,” she told journalists. “Maybe this sounds very mystical, but it is true. We all felt it.” Blonde and Most Haunted crossover when? Surely Yvette Fielding wouldn’t turn down the work. “Marilyn, knock twice if you disapprove of your life story being churned into a provocative statement on modern celebrity!”
What’s more: some of the scenes in the movie were shot in real-life locations, a whistlestop tour of Monroe’s historical misery. The movie’s prologue, focusing on Monroe’s childhood (then as Norma Jeane Baker), was shot in her childhood apartment, depicted in Blonde as a hellish hovel of abuse at the hands of her mentally ill mother. The climactic moments (spoiler?) were shot, too, where Monroe died IRL. Let’s be honest: you would’ve cracked out the Ouija board, too.
On that note: “It definitely took on elements of being like a seance,” said Dominik, presumably solemn with his eyes closed in a candle-lit room.
Exploring the explicit, relentless brutality of Blonde, we wrote that “Blonde could be a movie about so many female figures subject to the immolation of flashbulbs and camera shutters, seen not as living beings but as earned victims for our collective gaze.” The movie continues to polarise early audiences, with some concluding its unrelenting nature to be in service of an impactful statement on the celebrity gaze, where others have decried it as exploitative schlock. We’re still on the fence.
Blonde comes to Netflix in the UK on 28 September.