After months of mystery, our first look at the controversial Marilyn Monroe movie Blonde is finally here. Based on the 2000 novel by Joyce Carol Oates, the Netflix project stars Ana de Armas as the late icon in the years before her death at just 36 in 1962. As director Andrew Dominik promised, the film explores the divide between the confident sex symbol she was in public and the lonely, tortured woman she actually was behind the scenes. And according to Oates, the director nailed it: “[Blonde is startling, brilliant, very disturbing and perhaps most surprisingly an utterly 'feminist' interpretation,” she tweeted after seeing the rough cut in 2020. “Not sure that any male director has ever achieved anything [like] this.”
The teaser begins with de Armas as Monroe crying as she begs a makeup artist not to abandon her. She looks nearly as distressed when the clip cuts to a cop pushing her through a horde of clamoring fans and photographers. We next see her in her familiar cheery, confident mode as de Armas recreates two iconic Marilyn moments: the Seven Year Itch (1954) scene that finds her dress billowing above a subway grate, and her performance of “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” in the 1953 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. (In case there was any doubt, de Armas recently assured W that she’s most definitely dripping in diamonds in Blonde.) Out of sight from the public, though, Monroe is going through enough personal turmoil to have to practice her laugh and grin.
We have yet to get a look at Adrien Brody as Arthur Miller, the playwright who was Monroe’s third and final husband, nor any of the reasons why, in a first for Netflix, the film was rated NC-17. More sneak peeks are guaranteed to be in store (and hot tip: There’ll be no better place to find them than the ultra-tuned-in stan account Ana de Armas Updates). But for now, the minute-long teaser will have to do. Ahead of Blonde’s September 23 release, take your first look at de Armas as Monroe below.