Marilyn Goes ‘Blonde’ for Vanity Fair

Marilyn graces the cover of Vanity Fair‘s August issue in France. As yet, it’s unclear whether she’ll cover the US/UK editions, but the article – including new photos of Ana de Armas on the set of Blonde – is posted in English here, ahead of the 2 hour 46 minute film’s world premiere at the Venice Film Festival in early September, and its Netflix release on September 28. (Incidentally, Douglas Kirkland‘s cover image of Marilyn previously made the cover of Vanity Fair‘s Italian edition back in 2014.)

“Director Andrew Dominik has been developing this project for 15 years, attaching two different lead actresses—Naomi Watts and Jessica Chastain—before landing on Cuban star Ana de Armas. The New Zealander, who splits his time between Los Angeles and Australia, likes to think before acting, so he preferred to answer my questions by email. One of them was simple: ‘But why a movie about Marilyn?’ His answer: ‘I saw an opportunity to describe an adult life through the lens of mistaken childhood beliefs and trauma.’ This proves an interesting answer can emerge from a trivial question.

Blonde is not a traditional biopic, a genre that too often lionizes its subject by focusing only on the most extraordinary episodes of her life. Instead, Blonde focuses on destiny: a woman in search of love … Blonde is inspired by the life of the actress, but it claims to be a novel and not a biography. Over the phone, Joyce Carol Oates explains to me that Marilyn Monroe is a bit like Emma Bovary dropped into Hollywood. ‘Both are young women who have a very romantic and probably unrealistic vision of love. Marilyn was so insecure, so demanding, that it was hard for anyone to love her or even help her. Many men, including her second husband, baseball player Joe DiMaggio, tried, though, before backing away, afraid.’

I saw a near final version of Blonde one June morning in the private screening room of a Parisian hotel, almost alone in front of the big screen—escorted only by three Netflix representatives to make sure my phone stayed in my bag … For those who are suspicious (I don’t blame them): I didn’t receive any envelope or sign any document asking me to like this movie and to let people know about it, in exchange for this extraordinary privilege. But I swear on the heads of all the blondes in my family, including myself, that Blonde is a film that ‘got me on board’ … Another way to say it: I was not bored for a minute of the 166-minute film.”

Photo comparisons by Cinema Solace

The print edition also includes four more pages on Marilyn (in addition to the Blonde feature), including an article by Monroe expert Sebastien Cauchon.

Thanks to Divine Marilyn 

UPDATE: A full trailer for Blonde is now available…