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Ana De Armas Reveals Letter She Wrote To Marilyn Monroe Before Playing Her As She Faces Exploitation Accusations

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Ana de Armas

As Ana de Armas gears up for the premiere of her new film "Blonde," where the actress will be playing Marilyn Monroe, she recently talked about a trip she took to Monroe's grave to seek "permission" to play her in the new film.

"We got this big card, and everyone in the crew wrote a message to her,” de Armas said in a recent interview with AnOther magazine. “Then we went to the cemetery and put it on her grave. We were asking for permission in a way.

"Everyone felt a huge responsibility, and we were very aware of the side of the story we were going to tell — the story of Norma Jeane, the person behind this character, Marilyn Monroe. Who was she really?”

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"Blonde," which is set to premiere on Netflix on September 28, follows Monroe's life from her childhood to her time in Hollywood and her death in 1962 from a drug overdose. 

The NC-17-rated film made its debut at the Venice Film Festival, where it received a 14-minute standing ovation from the audience once the film concluded. 

De Armas also spoke candidly about the emotional impact that comes with playing a person such as Monroe.

"Everyone felt a huge responsibility, and we were very aware of the side of the story we were going to tell — the story of Norma Jeane, the person behind this character, Marilyn Monroe. The weight of it stayed with me for sure," she added.  

At a press conference while at the Venice Film Festival, the director Andrew Dominik compared filming in locations where Monroe once lived to a "seance."

It was during that same press conference that de Armas admitted to feeling "the spirit on Monroe" while on set.

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"I truly believe that she was very close to us. She was with us," de Armas told reporters in Venice. "I think she was happy. She would also throw things off the wall sometimes and get mad if she didn't like something. Maybe this sounds very mystical, but it is true. We all felt it."

Ahead of the film's release, it has already garnered a lot of backlash and skepticism, with many people worried that it won't honor Monroe's legacy, but will further exploit her reputation.

The film is also based on a book of fiction written by Joyce Carol Oates, which many people argue will create a misconception of the life Monroe actually lived, especially since the movie is being sold as a biopic. 

Dominik has also stoked the fire surrounding the film, admitting that he isn't bothered if viewers are disturbed by "Blonde."

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In an interview with Screen Daily, he said, "It’s a demanding movie. If the audience doesn’t like it, that’s the f--king audience’s problem. It’s not running for public office."

He went on: “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 movie has also been slammed for some of the brutally graphic scenes in it, including a fictionalized scene of Monroe being raped by former President John F. Kennedy.

In a recent interview with Variety, de Armas expressed her "disgust" about her nude scenes in the film ultimately being circulated online post the film's release.

“It’s upsetting just to think about it. I can’t control it; you can’t really control what they do and how they take things out of context,” de Armas said.

“I don’t think it gave me second thoughts; it just gave me a bad taste to think about the future of those clips.”

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Keep up with her on Instagram and Twitter.