The actress' transformation into Marilyn Monroe took three and a half hours a day in the hair and makeup chair for the new biopic Blonde

By Hanna Flanagan
March 04, 2021 03:35 PM
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Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe
Credit: Splash News Online; Ana de Armas/Instagram

Ana de Armas' transformation into Marilyn Monroe for her upcoming Netflix film Blonde is uncanny, judging by photos of the actress filming in a platinum blonde wig and sultry red lipstick that made headlines in September 2019.

But while speaking with Byrdie about her new role as an Estée Lauder global brand ambassador, de Armas, 32, revealed that the transformation wasn't all that glamorous behind the scenes.

"I had to go bald every day, because with the blonde wigs… [Marilyn] went through different shades of blonde from golden to really platinum, so for these wigs that are beautifully made, you can't have anything dark underneath, so we had to make a bald cap every single day from my forehead to [around] my whole head," the El Internado star told the outlet.

"It was like, three and a half hours every day of makeup. I think I actually cried the first time I saw [the wigs] on. Probably because I was terrified," she quipped. "But, I'm so proud."

De Armas said it was a "gift" to play Monroe in the biographical drama, which also stars Adrien Brody and is set to release later this year. "It felt incredible, it felt… also very exhausting. It was a lot of hard work to play her in what I think was a really honest way of portraying her."

"Her life was not simple," the Cuban-born actress explained, "because you really have to go deep into that period and what happened to her and her story and who she was, and maybe you know some of her story, but it was very intense."

Ana de Armas
Credit: Amy Sussman/Getty Images

"She went through a lot of things that were not easy at the time—it would not even be easy right now. I was lucky I had months to prepare. We don't usually have that luxury—we usually have to rush into the project and make it as you go, but that one I really had the time to study. There's so much material about her, like so much to watch and listen to. It's incredible. So that's what I did—dove deep into the whole thing with the director, Andrew Dominik, and I think the result is stunning and very moving."

In January, de Armas shared that it took months of work to perfect legendary screen siren's signature breathy voice.

"I tried!" she told U.K. publication The Sunday Times. "It only took me nine months of dialect coaching, and practicing, and some ADR sessions."

"It was a big torture, so exhausting. My brain was fried," de Armas added.