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Cuban actress Ana de Armas’ Marilyn gets the eye in Venice

Being Latina will not be and mustn’t be a limitation relating to getting essential roles in Hollywood. That is what Ana de Armas thinks and she or he shows it by moving into the skin of Marilyn Monroe in Blonde, the novel by  Joyce Caroll Oates that viewers at the moment are waiting for. “It can surprise,” says the actress in an interview for EFE from Venice.

“Perhaps I actually have tried to reject the stereotype of the Latina that existed in Hollywood. I’m still a Latina, regardless that other people think I’m not Latina enough… For me it’s something very essential to point out that your ethnicity doesn’t mean a limitation, it doesn’t mean that you simply usually are not able to interpreting wonderful characters from anywhere,” reflects the actress interviewed by journalist Alicia García de Francisco.

Born in Cuba, Ana de Armas moved to Spain, the land of her grandparents, when she was 18 years old and, after becoming enormously popular with the series El internado, she decided to make the leap to the USA, where she has participated in increasingly relevant projects resembling Knives Out ― for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe ―, Blade Runner 2049 or the last James Bond.

Now Marilyn might be her consecration. Only a number of hours are left before the film officially premieres in Venice, where it’s competing for the Golden Lion. The actress seems calm. There have already been some trailers for the press, with divided opinions, between those that consider it a masterpiece and those that think it’s a disappointment. Most agree on the nice work of the actress, this chronicle points out.

The role got here as a surprise for her, it was not something she was searching for. She acknowledges that it’s a “once in a lifetime” opportunity and she or he couldn’t say that she wouldn’t embody certainly one of Hollywood’s mythical characters, although she admits having felt fear originally. Despite her nerves, she weighed the scope of the project, having the ability to work with Andrew Dominik ― “an exquisite director” ― and together with that, the script, which “had all the pieces one can dream of as an actor.”

The election of Ana de Armas created controversy in the USA because it was not an American who embodied certainly one of the best myths that American cinema has given. To this Dominik responds clearly: “she was the one that could do it higher. You wish someone who looks like Marilyn Monroe, who attracts all the eye round her,” the New Zealand filmmaker also explained to EFE.

Ana de Armas and actor Adrien Brody on the Venice Film Festival, this September 8. Photo: CLAUDIO ONORATI/EFE/EPA.

“It must be someone who has some type of magical thing with which you’ll be able to understand that everyone seems to be drawn to, like moths to a flame.” And he found that within the Hispanic actress. Her accent? “It doesn’t trouble me, and also you? I feel if you should hear an accent you hear it.”

Controversies aside, what is obvious is that the transformation of Ana de Armas into Marilyn is surprising, and, within the film, the actress’s whispers transport the viewer to that moment wherein the golden blonde in the flicks sang “Completely happy Birthday” to President John Fitzgerlad Kennedy. And Ana de Armas was not accustomed to Marilyn nor had she read the novel by Joyce Carol Oates on which the film is predicated.

“It was like a discovery, little by little, through the project. Then got here the novel and all of the studies Andrew had done and my research and watching his movies. All the things was a strategy of discovering the character in addition to Norma Jean,” explains the actress.

Because Blonde is more “in regards to the meaning of Marilyn Monroe, about how we’re speculated to take into consideration her” because, just like the books that Gloria Steinem or Norman Mailer wrote, the film “is sort of a rescue fantasy, it’s that feeling that if I had been there, I might have understood her, I could have saved her,” explains Dominik.

The film is articulated through intimate moments of the actress, her marriage to Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller ― the primary one is apparent, with James Dougherty ― or her alleged threesome with Charlie Chaplin Jr and Edward G. Robinson Jr. Not forgetting her most famous lover, Kennedy.

Many intimate and sex scenes within the film, although for Ana de Armas probably the most complicated thing was the emotional part. The actress worked hard to get to that time where “the vulnerabilities and the darkest sides of fragility are shown” of a star of the stature of Marilyn Monroe. To achieve that identification with the character, what was very essential was her impeccable characterization, which transforms the young actress into an actual copy of the enduring Marilyn.

“The primary time I saw myself completely transformed into the character was a really special moment,” says De Armas, who continues to be surprised each time she sees a poster for Blonde together with her face on it. “It’s a dream,” she adds of a movie set to premiere on Netflix on September 28.

Concerning the future, she says that what matters most to her is working with talented directors. “I feel directors at this level have good stories and are thinking about working with actors as well.” And searching for a personality that may be a challenge, that she surprises her, because “they almost all the time give you things which are much like the last item you probably did.”

Will she return to work in Spain? “Yes, in the event that they call me. Yes, after all. I might like to, there are incredible directors right away in Spain, it might be very interesting.”

Alicia Garcia de Francisco/EFE/OnCuba

OnCuba Staff

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