When asked about the rating by French fashion magazine L’Officiel, the actress replied, “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.”
Armas (Deep Water) plays the iconic actress and pinup model in the Netflix movie, which co-stars Adrien Brody, Bobby Cannavale and Julianne Nicholson. Blonde was given the rare adults-only rating for “some sexual content” by the Motion Picture Association in March.
Director Andrew Dominik previously predicted the film, which is based on Joyce Carol Oates’ novel, would get an NC-17, defiantly telling Screen Daily in February: “It’s a demanding movie. If the audience doesn’t like it, that’s the fucking audience’s problem. It’s not running for public office. It’s an NC-17 movie about Marilyn Monroe, it’s kind of what you want, right? I want to go and see the NC-17 version of the Marilyn Monroe story.”
The director also said Netflix “insisted” on hiring editor Jennifer Lame (Tenet) “to curb the excesses of the movie,” which includes a rape scene that was also in Oates’ book.
All the hubbub over the rating has resulted in a considerable amount of global publicity for the film and seems rather unlikely to reduce its viewership.
Oates’ acclaimed 2000 novel is a 700-page fictionalized take on Monroe’s life, which The New Yorker once dubbed “the definitive study of American celebrity.”
Blonde premieres on Netflix on Sept. 28.