For those who’ve heard something about Blonde to date, it’s that it isn’t your typical Marilyn Monroe biopic. For one, it’s probably not a biopic in any respect – Andrew Dominik’s long-gestating movie is customized from Joyce Carol Oates’ novel of the identical title, a fictionalised telling of Monroe’s brief, stunning, Hollwood-altering life. It has additionally, notably, been much-delayed over time, and now because it lastly prepares to reach on our screens on Netflix, it’s been given a uncommon NC-17 score within the States. However in line with Ana de Armas, who performs Monroe within the film, the shock and awe surrounding Blonde could be very a lot consistent with Dominik’s movie.
“Andrew didn’t compromise, not as soon as,” de Armas tells Empire in a significant new Blonde interview. “He pushed again. This film has had an extended journey, not solely earlier than being made, but in addition after.” The result’s a movie that pushes cinematic boundaries and prods at cultural taboos, alternating between black-and-white and color, with shifting facet ratios, body-cams, a vaginal POV shot, conversations held with a fetus, and handheld digital camera pictures. “It’s a movie that’s speculated to create controversy and discomfort, and it’s speculated to make you consider what occurred – and what’s nonetheless occurring,” says its star. “It’s revolutionary, and I feel it’s so courageous.”
Whereas its director tells Empire that Netflix has been “actually supportive” of his imaginative and prescient (“Blonde is a really fortunate film, in that regard,” he says), the movie’s extra excessive content material has pushed it into NC-17 territory – most notably for a scene depicting sexual assault by a studio head who offers Monroe her massive break. If the film is stunning, its star felt it was by no means gratuitous. “It all the time got here from nice respect [for] and understanding of that trauma,” explains de Armas of the movie. “Regardless of the NC-17 score, I by no means felt that there was something exploitative. This film is supposed to be an expertise, to maneuver alongside together with her emotions, what she’s going via. And that, sadly, takes what it takes.”
It meant a dedicated efficiency from de Armas, who throws herself into the rollercoaster life, each actual and imagined, of Norma Jeane. “Whether or not we have been capturing an abortion scene, coping with abuse, nudity, glad intercourse, sad intercourse, it’s so necessary to point out the fact of it,” she says. “It’s not that I take pleasure in strolling bare round set. However on this case, I needed to give myself to it, to the fragility and the power and the sexuality and the whole lot that goes with it. As a result of we’re all of that. And it feels actual and trustworthy.” The result’s a near-three-hour, formally-experimental odyssey not like something you’ve ever seen – name it Blonde ambition.
Learn Empire’s full Blonde characteristic, getting the within story on Andrew Dominik’s wild imaginative and prescient and Ana de Armas’ daring lead efficiency, within the Glass Onion: A Knives Out Thriller difficulty – on newsstands from Thursday 1 September, and out there to pre-order on-line right here. Blonde will likely be in choose cinemas from 21 September, and on Netflix from 28 September.