Ana de Armas explains why she didn’t feel exploited when it came to filming Blonde‘s nude scenes. Based on the book of the same name by author Joyce Carol Oates, Blonde is written and directed by Andrew Dominik and centers on Marilyn Monroe. Like the book, Blonde features a fictionalized account of Monroe’s life, chronicling the late starlet’s rise to fame in the 1950s and her death from a drug overdose in 1962. Blonde recently had its premiere at the Venice Film Festival, earning mixed reviews from critics overall but with praise levied at de Armas’ powerful leading performance as Monroe.
De Armas has spoken at length about how serious and all-encompassing the role of Monroe has been for her. In addition to undergoing an impressive physical transformation, the star also adopts a unique accent for the movie. Even before the first trailer was released for Blonde, Dominik made clear that the film wouldn’t shy away from showing the less glamorous aspects of Monroe’s life from Oates’ book, which includes graphic depictions of sexual assault. De Armas has previously addressed Blonde’s NC-17 rating, explaining that it was important to her that the film honestly explore the disturbing events that shaped Monroe as a person.
In a new interview with EW, de Armas discusses her nude scenes in Blonde, revealing that she never felt exploited by them. The actor says that the scenes were heavily discussed ahead of time and that the on-set environment was safe and dominated by a sense of respect for the material. Ultimately, de Armas’ explains, watching those scenes as an audience member is likely a more difficult experience than the one she had when she was actually filming them. Check out de Armas’ full comment below:
It’s harder for people to watch [those scenes] than for me to make them, because I understood what I was doing and I felt very protected and safe. I didn’t feel exploited because I was in control. I made that decision. I knew what the movie I was doing. I trusted my director. I felt like I was in a safe environment. We had hundreds of conversations about these scenes. Everyone felt a deep respect for the movie we were making. And in that sense, I had no fear. I didn’t feel uncomfortable at all, even though they were really hard scenes.
In contrast to R-rated films, which allow those under the age of 17 to watch as long as they’re accompanied by a parent or guardian, an NC-17 rating means that audiences under the age of 17 are not permitted to watch the film at all. This rating is typically reserved for films with very graphic sexual material and nudity and is a rarity in Hollywood. However, reviews of Blonde have already suggested that the film certainly earns this rating.