‘Blonde’ Star Ana de Armas Speaks Out About Netflix Marilyn Monroe Movie’s NC-17 Rating

by Chris Piner

Gaining international fame in the 1950 and 60s, singer and actress Marilyn Monroe stunned and captivated every audience she stepped in front of. Besides dancing her way into the hearts of Americans on the silver screen, the life of Monroe isn’t as glamorous as the stardom of Hollywood. Sadly, while traveling the world and acting alongside other icons, Monroe struggled with her own identity. At the time, her films alone grossed a staggering $200 million. Even after her death, the American Film Institute ranked her in the top ten greatest female screen icons to come out of the golden age of Hollywood. With the new Netflix film, Blonde, taking a deep dive into Monroe’s rise and fall, it appears the film received an NC-17 rating, causing many to wonder how and why. 

While there is no definitive answer as to why the film received such a strong rating, the actress behind Marilyn Monroe, Ana de Armas addressed the burning question, somewhat confused herself. With an NC-17 rating, no individual under the age of 17 can watch the movie. If rated R, a person under 17 can watch if accompanied by an adult. Again, with no explanation, some suggested the subject matter revolving around Monroe’s first audition might be the culprit. 

In Blonde, Marilyn Monroe goes to her first movie audition with a producer who goes by Mr. Z. Throughout the audition process, the producer continuously hits on Monroe, eventually taking advantage of her sexually. Although one Monroe biographer said it never happened, Blonde explores the possibility. 

Ana de Armas Discusses Blonde Receiving NC-17 Rating

As for what actress Ana de Armas said about the NC-17 rating, “I didn’t understand why that happened. I can tell you a number of shows or movies that are way more explicit with a lot more sexual content than Blonde. But to tell this story it is important to show all these moments in Marilyn’s life that made her end up the way that she did. It needed to be explained. Everyone [in the cast] knew we had to go to uncomfortable places. I wasn’t the only one.”

Taking part in an interview with L’Officiel, Ana De Armas admitted to getting a small taste of what Marilyn Monroe went through as the star received criticism for her role in Blonde. “Something from this interview is going to be taken [out of context] and become something else. It’s terrifying because there is nothing you can really do. That’s why having family and people who love you is so important. And [Marilyn] didn’t have that. When you think about that, it’s easy to understand how you can break. People can be so cavalier about commenting on someone’s life or body or sexuality or relationships. It can really do damage.” 

With Blonde already causing a buzz online, Netflix prepares for its release on September 28, 2022.