How Ana de Armas became Marilyn Monroe in Blonde

Even with all the criticism, Blonde has one thing in common for everyone who watched it. The performance and characterization of Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe were impeccable in the Netflix film.

The actress is already a favorite for an Oscar nomination, and Blonde’s debut came just in time for the start of awards season. Even Scott Feinberg, who makes awards predictions for The Hollywood Reporter, put de Armas as his choice to win Best Actress.

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The recognition of the actress’ work certainly comes as even better news for the production, considering that the reception has not been the best. The criticism came because of the graphic way that the film portrayed abuse suffered by Monroe during her career.

Naturally, Ana de Armas struggled to live up to the role of one of the greatest movie stars of all time. So the actress went through a lot of preparation to look, sound, and capture the essence of Marilyn Monroe.

Ana’s transformation into Marilyn

According to Netflix’s TUDUM event, part of Ana de Armas’ preparation for her role in Blonde was putting Monroe’s films in the background during the 3 hours a day hairdressers and makeup artists took to transform the actress into Marilyn. This happened during the 47 days of filming.

De Armas obviously came out of that part of the experience with her favorite Monroe movies, the actress revealed to TUDUM that Some Like It Hot and Prince Charming are tied for the star’s best work.

“She’s so hilarious and so natural. She has this quality of being incandescent. She’s so bright…you can’t ignore her.” She commented on Armas.

While the actress learned to apply her own lipstick towards the end of the makeup process, hair experts provided wigs with different shades of blonde to replicate Monroe’s diverse looks throughout the film.

While hair and makeup experts physically transformed Ana into Monroe, the actress worked with sound designer Leslie Shatz to achieve the star’s perfect voice. In addition to working tirelessly to disguise his Cuban accent.

Shatz spoke to Variety about the technology used to help de Armas replicate Marilyn’s unique voice:

“Ana wanted to perfect Marilyn’s voice in postgraduate work, and she put so much time and energy into it… We were using a ribbon mic and a way for the instruments to record her, using equipment and processes to give it a period feel.”

Blonde is available on Netflix.

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