‘Blonde’ Star Says She Doesn’t Get Why Marilyn Monroe Semi-Biopic Scored NC-17 Rating

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 19: Ana de Armas attends "The Gray Man" Special Screening at BFI Southbank on July 19, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Samir Hussein/WireImage

“Blonde” actress Ana de Armas said she didn’t understand why the Marilyn Monroe semi-biopic — based on the Joyce Carol Oates novel of the same name — had landed an NC-17 rating.

Internet Movie Database (IMDb) describes the Netflix offering — which is slated for release on the streaming platform on September 28 and will debut at the Venice Film Festival in the coming days — as “a fictionalized chronicle of the inner life of Marilyn Monroe.”

“Blonde” will be the first original Netflix film to command an NC-17 rating, and de Armas admitted that she wasn’t expecting the move.

“I didn’t understand why that happened. I can tell you a number of shows or movies that are way more explicit with a lot more sexual content than ‘Blonde,’” she said.“But to tell this story it is important to show all these moments in Marilyn’s life that made her end up the way that she did. It needed to be explained. Everyone knew we had to go to uncomfortable places. I wasn’t the only one.”

De Armas said that her goal in portraying the legendary blonde bombshell was not so much to copy her but to give her the voice that she may not have had in her lifetime.

“I was interested in her feelings, her journey, her insecurities, and her voice, in the sense that she didn’t really have one,” she said.

Director Andrew Dominik said in May that he had been surprised at the rating as well, telling Vulture that he’d believed he had “colored inside the lines” of a typical R-rating.

“I was surprised. Yeah. I thought we’d colored inside the lines. But I think if you’ve got a bunch of men and women in a boardroom talking about sexual behavior, maybe the men are going to be worried about what the women think. It’s just a weird time,” he said. “It’s not like depictions of happy sexuality. It’s depictions of situations that are ambiguous. And Americans are really strange when it comes to sexual behavior, don’t you think? I don’t know why. They make more porn than anyone else in the world.”

Dominik also reportedly took issue with Netflix’s efforts to “curb the excesses” of the film prior to its release.

“’Blonde’ is a demanding movie. If the audience doesn’t like it, that’s the f***ing audience’s problem. It’s not running for public office,” he said.

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