There's no secret that Marilyn Monroe was an intriguing figure in life, as was the mysterious circumstances surrounding her death. It's finding the voice of that fallen starlet that provides the greatest challenge for Ana de Armas quite literally as the star of Andrew Dominik's Blonde. The upcoming biopic is based on Joyce Carol Oats' 2000 novel of the same name. Speaking with The Times of London (via Indiewire), the No Time to Die and Knives Out star opened up about the extensive training she's had for the part.
"I tried! It only took me nine months of dialect coaching and practicing, and some ADR sessions [rerecording dialogue after filming]," de Armas said. "It was a big torture, so exhausting. My brain was fried." Playing Monroe offered a perspective of what her peers must have gone through rising up the ranks of Hollywood. "I had a lot of thoughts as a woman in the industry, and even in general, about how things from the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s are so relatable to nowadays," she continued. "And how if you don't have a strong base, with your family and so on, it's really hard to make it through — really hard."
As one of Hollywood's biggest up-and-coming talents, de Armas is cognizant of the golden opportunity such a signature role can do for her career. "I only had to audition for Marilyn once, and Andrew said 'It's you,' but I had to audition for everyone else," de Armas told Vanity Fair last year. "The producers. The money people. I always have people I needed to convince. But I knew I could do it. Playing Marilyn was groundbreaking. A Cuban playing Marilyn Monroe. I wanted it so badly. You see that famous photo of her, and she is smiling in the moment, but that's just a slice of what she was really going through at the time." Blonde, which also stars Bobby Cannavale and Adrien Brody, is tentatively scheduled for release in fall 2021 on Netflix.