‘Blonde’ Trailer Hints at an Almost Psychological Horror Between Marilyn the Person and the Persona
Ana de Armas will be stepping into the very large pop cultural shoes as Marilyn Monore in the upcoming Netflix film Blonde, based on the novel by Joyce Carol Oates. It will be directed by Andrew Dominik and has already made news for getting an NC-17 film rating.
Netflix’s official summary of the film says, “[The film] boldly reimagines the life of one of Hollywood’s most enduring icons, Marilyn Monroe. From her volatile childhood as Norma Jeane, through her rise to stardom and romantic entanglements, ‘Blonde’ blurs the lines of fact and fiction to explore the widening split between her public and private selves.”
Joining Ana de Armas is Caspar Phillipson as John F. Kennedy, Adrien Brody as Arthur Miller, and Bobby Cannavale as Joe DiMaggio—honestly some pretty good casting. The teaser really highlights that psychological angle and looks so much like Spencer and Jackie, which I loved.
Blonde is one of Joyce Carol Oates’ most renowned and acclaimed works, and Marilyn continues to be a figure that fascinates people, especially as we continue to bring out the many layers to her that were hidden during her life.
In speaking with Netflix Queue, de Armas said, “Andrew’s ambitions were very clear from the start — to present a version of Marilyn Monroe’s life through her lens. He wanted the world to experience what it actually felt like to not only be Marilyn, but also Norma Jeane. I found that to be the most daring, unapologetic, and feminist take on her story that I had ever seen.”
She continued, “We worked on this film for hours, every single day for almost a year. 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. We’d pore over every detail in the photo and debate what was happening in it. 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.”
That legacy of the actress and that duality is what has kept her so relevant in the public eye. I hope the film will be able to balance out that pain and sadness without being too exploitative.
“She’s deeply traumatized, and that trauma necessitates a split between a public self and a private self, which is the story of everyone, but with a famous person, that often plays out publicly, in ways that may cause additional trauma,” Dominik says. “The film’s very much concerned with the relationship with herself and with this other persona, Marilyn, which is both her armor and the thing that is threatening to consume her.”
These kinds of quotes give me hope, and I’m looking forward to seeing what comes of Blonde and finally picking up my copy.
Blonde will be streaming on Netflix September 23, 2022.
(via Variety, featured image: Netflix)
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