After months (years…who could say anymore?) of whispers, gossip, and much postponing, Ana de Armas has made her big debut as Norma Jean. In the first full-length trailer for Andrew Dominik’s highly-anticipated (nearly mythical) Blonde, the actress is finally Marilyn Monroe—and having a crisis about what that means. Though she’s soaring in Hollywood, Norma Jean just doesn’t see herself in the persona of Marilyn Monroe.
Obviously, a silky rendition of “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” carols over the whole trailer, a perfect blend of eerie and beautiful. Bobby Cannavale (who stars as “The Ex-Athlete”) opens the preview in a scene at a dinner with Marilyn, posing a simple question: “How did you get your start?”
Marilyn says she never got her start. Fame came busting down her door, and it hasn’t stopped stalking her since.
“I guess I was discovered,” she says through tears. “I know you’re supposed to get used to it. But I just can’t. I’ve played Marilyn Monroe, Marilyn Monroe, Marilyn Monroe. I can’t face doing another scene as Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn doesn’t exist.”
Clearly, the actress is uncomfortable with her life, with the trailer showing her weary and awkward during iconic moments on film sets like Some Like It Hot, the subway grate scene of The Seven Year Itch, and more. The paparazzi are as suffocating as the shimmering dresses. In one brilliant scene, Marilyn gazes at herself in the mirror and laughs—except she isn’t laughing. Only the girl in the mirror laughs, as her real self remains still on the other side.
As to be expected after hits like Knives Out and No Time to Die, Ana de Armas looks to be giving a real tour-de-force performance. In just this two-minute clip, her celebrity aura ranges from dazzling to catastrophic, wowing an audience full of big names in one second, and screaming her lungs off in a burning building the next. Sorry, director Andrew Dominik—this is all Marilyn Monroe and Ana de Armas’ movie, now.
That said, there’s already a divisive reaction to de Armas’ accent as Monroe, whose lilting, breathy voice is indelible to her legacy. While some folks called the actress’ Cuban-Spanish accent “distracting,” others put up a good defense for de Armas.
“People complaining about Ana de Armas’ Spanish accent in the BLONDE trailer…is one reason why actors, whose native language isn’t English can’t make it in Hollywood,” one Twitter user shared. “Audiences will call suspension of disbelief for men with superpowers wearing tights but draw the line at accents.”
Speaking of Dominik, the director has been raising eyebrows for quite some time as the film preps for a late 2022 release. He’s already given the middle finger to audiences that aren’t interested in his movie. On top of that, he’s been pretty boastful about the fact that Blonde has been granted a rare NC-17 rating. But it’s heading to Netflix, so how can the streamer keep any teeny-boppers away from watching?
“It’s a demanding movie. If the audience doesn’t like it, that’s the fucking audience’s problem. It’s not running for public office,” Dominik told Screen Daily about the film. ”It’s an NC-17 movie about Marilyn Monroe, it’s kind of what you want, right? I want to go and see the NC-17 version of the Marilyn Monroe story.”
The many delays—development began in 2010—of the film have only added to its intrigue. Still, finally, Blonde will have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival in early September, and will arrive on Netflix later that month on Sept. 28.