See Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe in first 'Blonde' trailer: 'Absolutely stunning'

·Senior Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
·3 min read

Just like diamonds, America's collective fascination with Marilyn Monroe is forever. The epitome of Hollywood glamour for much of her short life, Monroe's career and legacy is explored in dramatic fashion in Andrew Dominik's upcoming Netflix biopic, Blonde.

Knives Out star Ana de Armas plays Marilyn and her off-screen self, Norma Jeane, and a just-released trailer for the NC-17 rated film indicates that split will be a big part of the narrative. Seated in front a mirror, a crying Norma Jean desperately summons the spirit of her larger-than-life alter ego. "Please come — don't abandon me," she moans. And when Marilyn does finally take control of their shared body, those sobs transform into a knowing smile. (Watch the trailer above.)

Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe in Andrew Dominik's Blonde. (Photo: Courtesy of Netflix)
Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe in Andrew Dominik's Blonde. (Photo: Courtesy of Netflix)

Adapted from Joyce Carole Oates's historical novel about Monroe, Blonde has been the subject of intense speculation since Dominik started developing the script in 2010. Having previously deconstructed the various myths of the American West in his acclaimed 2007 film, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, the writer/director has talked about how this film is intended to address the grim reality behind the fantasy of Marilyn Monroe.

"It's about an unwanted child who becomes the most desired woman on the planet," the filmmaker remarked in an interview with The Playlist earlier this year. "It’s trying to create the emotional experience of being her, within her misunderstandings." The director also addressed the film's NC-17 rating in that same interview, admitting it was "a bit of a surprise," and crediting the #MeToo movement with getting Blonde in front of cameras despite its difficult subject matter.

"I think people were really uncomfortable with how Blonde portrayed certain American sacred cows," Dominik observed. "And then it became a gold moment where it didn’t matter if they were sacred cows or not, and that’s why it got made, what allowed it to happen in the end."

Prior to de Armas, Naomi Watts and Jessica Chastain were attached to play Marilyn Monroe in Blonde. (Photo: Courtesy of Netflix)
Prior to de Armas, Naomi Watts and Jessica Chastain were attached to play Marilyn Monroe in Blonde. (Photo: Courtesy of Netflix)

Prior to selecting de Armas as Monroe in 2019, Dominik's casting list included Naomi Watts and Jessica Chastain. In an interview with Netflix Queue, the Cuban actress explained her intense commitment to the part. "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. 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.”

All that preparation has clearly paid off, as Twitter is ready to see Blonde carry de Armas into the Best Actress race.

Blonde premieres Sept. 23 on Netflix .

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