2022 is the year of the looooong promo tour: if you thought the build-up for Don’t Worry Darling, a movie filmed during the pandemic, was bad, just be grateful it wasn’t Blonde, a movie filmed long before the pandemic and is only now finally seeing the light. (It premieres on Netflix on September 28.) Rumblings of Ana de Armas’ revelatory performance have been going on for actual years leading up to the release. In a new Variety profile, the actor admits to having seen the film “too many times to count,” mostly with small groups of close confidants.
With all that time to contemplate her biggest swing yet, de Armas has already anticipated some of the reactions to her depiction of Marilyn Monroe. “I know what’s going to go viral, and it’s disgusting,” she tells the outlet, “unprompted,” referencing the graphic nude scenes in the NC-17-rated film. “It’s upsetting just to think about it. I can’t control it; you can’t really control what they do and how they take things out of context.” She adds (presumably without being asked), “I don’t think it gave me second thoughts; it just gave me a bad taste to think about the future of those clips.”
It’s impossible to argue with de Armas’ thought process; the Internet is forever and some horny freaks are sure to take pleasure in the depiction of a beautiful actress’ exploitation. But so far, the most viral reactions to the biopic highlight its unrelenting brutality of Monroe, subjecting her (and the viewer) to violence, sexual assault, and an immediately-infamous talking fetus scene.
Much has already been made about de Armas seeking permission from Monroe’s grave (!!!) to depict her in such extremes, and Monroe’s ghost possibly haunting the set. But de Armas was undaunted by the challenges: “I did things in this movie I would have never done for anyone else, ever. I did it for her, and I did it for [director] Andrew [Dominik],” she says. All that for a movie that is so far getting middling reviews—it’s uncertain whether having those nude clips immortalized on the internet was worth it.