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Chris Evans Had The Best Reaction Seeing Ana De Armas As Marilyn Monroe

In Blonde, Netflix’s forthcoming biopic about Marilyn Monroe’s thorny life based on a novel by Joyce Carol Oates, Ana de Armas plays the troubled Hollywood starlet. But before the movie hits Netflix on Sept. 28, (becoming the streamer’s first NC-17 rated project), de Armas held a screening of her own to showcase the final cut to the film’s crew and craftspeople, and her close friends — including former Knives Out and The Gray Man co-star Chris Evans.

In a Variety feature about de Armas, Evans shared his first reaction to her transformation into the Hollywood icon after seeing it in Prague while they were shooting The Gray Man. “I think this was one of the first opportunities she had to really sink her teeth into something incredibly demanding,” Evans said. “I didn’t see one bit of fear; I saw excitement.” Months prior when she shared a still image from a screen test, Evans didn’t believe what he was seeing. “I remember looking at it and saying, ‘OK, that’s Marilyn … where’s your shot? That’s you? Holy sh*t! You’re going to win an Oscar for this!’” he recalls.

That’s not the first time a co-star has reacted to her transformation. When de Armas was featured on Time Magazine’s 100 Next List, her Knives Out co-star Jamie Lee Curtis also commented on the initial images of her depiction of Monroe. “She showed me a photo of her screen test as Marilyn Monroe for Blonde, and I couldn’t see Ana anywhere,” Curtis wrote. “Just Marilyn in all her fragile glory.”

De Armas exploded onto the scene as one of the central figures in the star-studded whodunit Knives Out, which was so popular, Netflix picked it up for at least two more sequels. But she was in talks for the role of Monroe even prior to that breakout performance, as the first choice of director Andrew Dominik in 2019. Then, after getting the part, Netflix shelved the project for a few years due to the lockdown and what de Armas called “problems with the cut.” “There were moments where I thought maybe this movie would never come out,” she admitted.

Blonde premiered at the Venice Film Festival to a 14-minute standing ovation, one of the longest at the festival. Oates told Variety, “The performance is remarkable. In a sense, Norma Jeane Baker [Monroe’s legal name] represents the authentic self — as we all possess ‘authentic selves’ usually hidden beneath layers of defensive personae. ‘Marilyn Monroe’ is the performing self that really exists only when there is an audience.” The film’s director Dominik added that “Something shifted when we found her…it was just so obvious. She had this thing — and that’s the reason why the movie happened.”

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