How the intensity of shooting ‘Blonde’ put Ana de Armas in the Marilyn Monroe mind-set
This article contains spoilers.
In the summer of 1957, 15-year-old Ana de Armas was doing gymnastics at the gymnasium in Santiago that her father, the president of the Federación de Asociaciones de Gymnastas de Chile, had rented for her younger brother, Pedro.
A young man named Mario Rangel – a member of the so-called “Rasputa Squad”, as he was affectionately dubbed by Ana – was standing at her side. The two were there to watch a film shown by Pedro’s father, a prominent Chilean filmmaker, and he was showing a 15-minute excerpt while Ana went to the bathroom to change shoes. Suddenly, she said nothing as she turned around, looked at the man, and said: “Yes, yes, yes, that’s interesting, very interesting, I like that one!” The man replied: “You look like Marilyn Monroe.”
That was a day that started the process of making her an international icon.
“That moment,” Ana says, “was the very first time I imagined as being a Marilyn, a star of the international film industry. I dreamed about being Marilyn Monroe and, of course, she is the iconic image of Marilyn Monroe.”
That day, though, Ana de Armas was not yet Marilyn Monroe. Her body was not an international icon – she was 15 years old, small, and in the wrong clothes for her small frame. What made the difference was how she chose the moment to say yes, at the right place and time.
This week – on the anniversary of the release of ‘Blonde’ – an original movie poster from the Marilyn Monroe biopic premiered in Chile and a new biography about Ana de Armas titled ‘Marilyn Monroe – Mi estudio, mi vida’ hit the Chilean bookstores.
Ana de Armas is not exactly a household name in Spanish-speaking countries, and when