Ana De Armas Defends Her Most Controversial Role

Ana de Armas does not regret playing Marilyn Monroe in Blonde.

By Robert Scucci | Updated

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Starring in a controversial movie role is never an easy thing to do for a number of reasons, but Ana de Armas seems at peace with the way her role in the Marilyn Monroe biopic, Blonde, was received worldwide. A recent in-depth Hollywood Reporter interview with the Knives Out star talks at length about the Cuban actress’s audition, subsequent preparation to film, and response to the backlash that she experienced for her portrayal of Monroe in Blonde. The overall sentiment expressed was that Blonde was a difficult movie that tackles heavy subject matters; it was meant to be a dose of realism, and oftentimes people aren’t ready to see the real side of the story.

Blonde is Andrew Dominik’s film adaptation of the Joyce Carol Oates novel of the same name, and it delves into the darker aspects of Marilyn Monroe’s life. Ana de Armas doesn’t see her portrayal of the blonde bombshell‘s life to be as damaging to her reputation as critics make it out to be, stating, “I don’t think the movie speaks badly about her a bit. I think it’s the opposite. I think it speaks badly about the environment and the industry, and that’s a hard pill to swallow sometimes for other people in the business.”

Ana de Armas also talks about her preparation for the role, stating that she knew her Cuban accent would be problematic, but she spent several months preparing for the role and getting in the right headspace. It’s very clear that she cared deeply about what she considered to be a once-in-a-lifetime role and didn’t want to paint Marilyn Monroe’s life in a negative light. Considering the subject matter, and the darker aspects of Monroe’s life that aren’t often talked about at length, she was expecting Blonde to cause a bit of controversy.

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The fact of the matter is that the more volatile aspects of Marilyn Monroe’s life are often swept under the rug, and people are bound to be shaken up by how Ana de Armas contributed to the lore of Monroe’s story. While the reception of Blonde is wildly polarizing in the present day, it’s worth noting that the NC-17-rated film received a 14-minute standing ovation and was received well at the Venice International Film Festival. Armas goes on to say that “it’s hard to hear these reactions, but you can always go back to what you experienced, and why you did it, and the reasons why you were attracted to the project.”

At the end of the day, Ana de Armas has the right attitude about Blonde’s reception. She felt drawn to the part, and she devoted months of her time to prepare for the role, stating that to get into her role as Marilyn Monroe that she had to be “mentally there, in that emotional state, for the whole thing to come together.” Whether or not people like the film is not for her to say, and it’s refreshing to see a star stand by their work despite the blowback they may experience.

Aside from her Oscar-nominated role in Blonde, Ana de Armas is most well known for her role in Knives Out, for which she received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress. In 2023, we’re lucky to be in the presence of a serious actress who stands behind her work. It’s so easy to disavow a controversial role, but the actress said it best when she said, “as hard as it is to hear when people don’t like your film, it is what it is.”