Well, it’s better than asking her weird CGI fashion double: Ana de Armas says in a new interview that she and the Blonde crew laid a note on Marilyn Monroe’s grave asking for her blessing in taking the screen siren’s story to Netflix.
“We got this big card and everyone in the crew wrote a message to her,” Armas tells AnOther magazine in a new 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?”
Despite asking for permission, the idea that Monroe’s ghost signed off on the film doesn’t exactly line up with past comments from the cast and crew about sensing her presence on set. “I truly believe that she was very close to us. She was with us,” Armas shared during a Venice Film Festival press junket. “I think she was happy. She would also throw things off the wall sometimes and get mad if she didn’t like something. Maybe this sounds very mystical, but it is true. We all felt it.”
Armas also shares in the new interview how difficult it was to “unplug” during filming, given that she felt Monroe’s story around her even when she (as a famous actor, we assume metaphorically) clocked out at work.
“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,” Armas recalls. “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.”
It may seem slightly uncouth to attempt to contact the spirit of someone who didn’t even know you like that, despite whatever tragedies befell them. But in the era of the Lady Gaga press tour, discussing onset hauntings (and mysterious swarms of flies) is par for the course. Hey—at least a hand-signed card at a gravesite is better than trading in locks of Monroe’s hair (even ones that might be fake.)