The upcoming Netflix release Blonde might not be fully sanctioned by the Marilyn Monroe estate, but the already-controversial film was apparently approved by a higher power: the ghost of the classic Hollywood icon herself. As reported by Deadline, star Ana de Armas spoke about feeling the actor’s presence while playing her during a press conference at the Venice Film Festival.
“I truly believe that she was very close to us, she was with us,” de Armas says. “She 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… Being in the same places that she was, filming in her house, it was a very strong sensation there was something in the air and I think she was approving of what we were doing.”
Blonde is not a straightforward biopic of Monroe, but instead an adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’ novel of the same name, which is a dramatization of the Gentlemen Prefer Blondes star’s life and takes significant liberties with her story. Fans who have read the book and connected its content with the movie’s NC-17 rating are already concerned about the more sensationalized aspects it presumably contains.
“We were kind of chasing her ghost around,” director Andrew Dominik describes. “Her dust is everywhere in Los Angeles.”
Blonde aims to tackle the duality of Marilyn Monroe the movie star, and the woman born Norma Jeane Mortenson. Along with recreations of some of her top film scenes, it includes depictions of the actor’s relationships with Arthur Miller (Adrien Brody) and Joe DiMaggio (Bobby Cannavale). Brody and Julianne Nicholson, who plays the star’s mother, were also on the scene at Venice.
Blonde arrives on Netflix on September 28.