In a 'Variety' interview, the 'Blonde' actress says paparazzi attention around their relationship drew her closer to Marilyn Monroe.
Ana de Armas understands the paparazzi circus that often surrounded Marilyn Monroe, because she's felt it too. In a new interview with Variety, the Blonde actress touched on the often "unsafe" and "dangerous" attention she received while dating Ben Affleck and why it drew her closer to Monroe.
"I have never been someone that wants any attention that’s not about my work," de Armas says of the intense focus on her romantic life. "So, when the attention is not about my work, it is upsetting, and it feels disrespectful, and it feels inappropriate, and it feels dangerous and unsafe."
She continues, "But, especially in this country, I don’t know how you can find protection. I don’t know how you can stop that from happening, other than leaving."
Though she didn't leave the country, de Armas did move to New York not long after her breakup with Affleck in 2021. Still, her personal life remains a topic of interest -- and the fascination that surrounds her for reasons beyond her talent is something the 32-year-old actress isn't what she wants to be remembered for.
"It was one of the things that brought me closer to Marilyn," de Armas shares. "She loved what she did. She loved the profession, and she respected it very much. She just didn’t receive that back."
"I’m just interested in my work," she adds. "I want to be remembered for that. The other side, I’m not interested. Some people have a better time making peace with that. Some people even like it. I’m in the group of people who would prefer not to have that."
Elsewhere in the interview, de Armas discusses the nude scenes in Netflix's first-ever NC-17 movie that she already knows are "going to go viral."
"It's disgusting. 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 maintains. "I don’t think it gave me second thoughts; it just gave me a bad taste to think about the future of those clips."
In knowing that, de Armas says she still had to "go there" in the film, showing the often sexually violent and explicit -- one in particular between Monroe and President John F. Kennedy -- things that happened to the blonde bombshell, and how they ultimately shaped both her life and death.
"We’re telling her story,” de Armas says, "from her point of view. I’m making people feel what she felt. When we had to shoot these kinds of scenes, like the one with Kennedy, it was difficult for everybody. But at the same time, I knew I had to go there to find the truth.”
Despite transforming both physically and emotionally into Monroe, de Armas didn't go the method-acting route, choosing to separate herself from the Hollywood icon, despite feeling that great pull toward her.
"When I’m doing my hair and makeup, it’s just me, it’s Ana," she explains, before describing her state of mind while playing Monroe as "deeply sad. I felt heavy. I felt helpless that I couldn’t change what was happening. I just had to go through a story that I know how it’s going to end."
Already onto the next project when Blonde wrapped, de Armas says she had a hard time shedding Monroe's skin, telling the outlet, "I couldn’t say goodbye. I couldn’t shake it off. I couldn’t let her go. I went to visit her at her cemetery a few times — I would have liked to go one more time."
Ultimately, de Armas says she's ready to let go of the project -- something she's been a part of for the last three years -- and for everyone to see it, too.
"It’s very nerve-racking! Because it’s literally not just a movie theater — it is everybody," she says of the film debuting on Netflix. "The world will see it. So, I am very excited — and it is time to let go."
Blonde is in select theaters now, and premieres on Netflix Sept. 28.