How This Keanu Reeves Movie Helped Ana de Armas Land Marilyn Monroe Role

by Taylor Cunningham

Keanu Reeves’ 2014 thriller Knock Knock may have been a bust at the Box office, but it still managed to help his co-star, Ana de Armas, find a place as one of Hollywood’s most sought-after leading ladies.

As the actress recently shared with The Los Angeles Times, Blonde director Andrew Dominik knew she was his future Marilyn Monroe thanks to her role in that movie. So in the end, the flop ended up being a stepping stone to her lead in one of this fall’s most anticipated films.

“On paper, I was not supposed to be playing Marilyn Monroe. I’m a Cuban actress. In what world could I have imagined that this was going to happen? Never,” De Armas said. “The fact that I got this opportunity was just something out of the ordinary.”

In Knock Knock, Ana de Armas played another flaxen hair bombshell, Bell, who seduces Keanu Reeves’ character, Evan, into cheating on his wife while she and their kids are away on vacation. When he does, they decide the only justice for his adulterous deed is death. His death.

Apparently, when Dominik watched the movie, he couldn’t help but notice that de Armas bares a striking resemblance to Norma Jeane. And the way she carried herself on the screen was uncanny.

Ana de Armas Easily Connected with Marilyn Monroe Because She was ‘Still a Woman’

So when he joined forces with Netflix to bring the late actress’ story to the screen, he called de Armas and asked her to audition. When she did, she shared that she took the approach to make Monroe relatable, flawed, and broken.

“It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about Marilyn, a famous actress, or not. She’s still a woman,” De Armas said. “And I knew I could understand that part at least.”

By connecting with the Silver Screen icon that way, de Armas instantly landed the part.

“When she read for it, you could feel her — the world revolved around her onscreen,” the director wrote to the publication via email. “The film didn’t really come to life until Ana appeared.”

Blonde isn’t a true biopic however, it is based on Joyce Carol Oates’ fictionalized book by the same name. The story follows the personal life of the late legend. And despite not yet being released, it has already fallen under heavy criticism.

The movie earned an uncommon NC-17 rating, which fans say dishonors Monroe’s memory. And though the Blonde creators have been clear that the plot is fiction, people still believe that it is creating lies about her life.

“I recoil from the tinkering with the real-life facts of Marilyn Monroe’s life that the novel indulges,” Anthony Summers, author of Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe, told the US Sun. “Especially when the tinkering involves what I call the ‘historical libel’ of other people [like the Kennedy brothers].”

Blonde premieres on Netflix on September 28, 2022.