Ana de Armas on visits to Marilyn Monroe's grave, 'I couldn't let her go'

Gearing up for the upcoming premiere of the Marilyn Monroe Netflix movie Blonde, actor Ana de Armas gets candid about her connection to the role

Ana de Armas
(Image credit: NBC / Contributor)

Ana de Armas has clearly gone all-in while preparing to star in the much-anticipated new Marilyn Monroe biopic.

Just ahead of the premiere of Blonde on Netflix, the intriguing new film about the icon directed by Andrew Dominik, Ana gave a pretty in-depth interview to Variety (opens in new tab), where, among other things, she mentioned having visited the star's grave at Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles a few times.

"I couldn’t say goodbye," she said to the outlet. "I couldn’t shake it off. I couldn't let her go. I went to visit her at her cemetery a few times - I would have liked to go one more time."

Given the magnitude of the role, Ana’s connection and devotion to it shouldn’t come as a surprise. The 34-year-old Cuban actor put the effort in. While reminiscing on her first in-person screen test with Netflix, where the film will premiere on September 28, Ana revealed she had brought her accent coach along with her.

"I hadn't had the training and the voice and everything," she said to the outlet. "So my coach was crouching on the floor, under the table. I just knew that everything we did that day was going to be the definitive test of the movie to be greenlit or not."

Blonde

(Image credit: Netflix)

The production was, of course, given the thumbs up, and so Ana's preparations for the important part, which industry people claim might earn her an Academy Award nomination, began as well.

The actor inhabited Marilyn so intensely that, as she says in the new interview, she had to take a break from her in-between takes. 

"When I’m doing my hair and makeup, it's just me, it's Ana," she said, also revealing that, while playing Marilyn, she felt a deep sadness. "I felt heavy. I felt helpless that I couldn't change what was happening. I just had to go through a story that I know how it’s going to end.”


She also signed up for voice lessons to master the icon's legendary accent and spent time learning the choreography for movie scenes (including the popular musical number Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend).

Given that Blonde, an adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates' eponymous novel from 2000, received a 14-minute-long standing ovation when it premiered at the 79th Venice International Film Festival earlier this month, we expect the Netflix release to shatter the platform’s viewing records despite some of the criticisms that were leveled against the production, including the pretty hefty amount of nudity featured in the movie.

"I know what's going to go viral and it's disgusting," Ana said confidently regarding those scenes. "It’s upsetting just to think about it. I can’t control it; you can’t really control what they do and how they take things out of context. I don’t think it gave me second thoughts; it just gave me a bad taste to think about the future of those clips."

Alas, given the subject matter at hand, both the actor and her director found it necessary to portray Marilyn in all of her facets. We can't help but agree.

Anna Rahmanan is a New York-based writer and editor who covers culture, entertainment, food, fashion and travel news. Anna’s words have appeared on Time Out New York, the Huffington Post, Fortune, Forbes, Us Weekly, Bon Appetit and Brooklyn Magazine, among other outlets.