We've spent months – well, years, actually – hearing about Andrew Dominik's new film, his long-planned passion project about the public and private life of Marilyn Monroe, Blonde. And now we're getting a proper first look at it via the new teaser, which focuses on star Ana de Armas as Norma Jeane/Marilyn.
Largely what has been said about this new film from the director of Killing Them Softly has been about its controversial NC-17 rating.
Adapted from the bestselling novel by Joyce Carol Oates, Blonde aims to reimagine the life of one of Hollywood's most enduring icons. From her volatile childhood as Norma Jeane, through her rise to stardom and romantic entanglements, the drama blurs the lines of fact and fiction to explore the widening split between her public and private selves.
The teaser makes this very clear — an emotional Norma Jeane, shy and withdrawn, slowly transforms into the sparkly Marilyn that is seen on stages and screens. There are glimpses from elsewhere in the movie, though it’s mostly her public persona.
“Andrew’s ambitions were very clear from the start — to present a version of Marilyn Monroe’s life through her lens,” says de Armas. “He wanted the world to experience what it actually felt like to not only be Marilyn, but also Norma Jeane. I found that to be the most daring, unapologetic, and feminist take on her story that I had ever seen.”
This take on her experiences gave Dominik real scope to explore the private life of an icon. “She’s deeply traumatized, and that trauma necessitates a split between a public self and a private self, which is the story of everyone, but with a famous person, that often plays out publicly, in ways that may cause additional trauma,” he says. “The film’s very much concerned with the relationship with herself and with this other persona, Marilyn, which is both her armour and the thing that is threatening to consume her."
Blonde will land on Netflix on 23 September.