What did Ana de Armas say about the NC-17 rating for her Marilyn Monroe movie ‘Blonde’?
The new Marilyn Monroe biopic earned Netflix its first adults-only rating but the film’s star, Ana de Armas, believes that it is unwarranted.
Netflix’s Marilyn Monroe biopic, ‘Blonde’, has been gaining a lot of attention ahead of its release, not least for earning the streaming service its first NC-17 rating. Ana de Armas, who plays the iconic Hollywood actress, questioned the decision by the Motion Picture Association (MPAA) to slap the movie with an adults-only 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,” the leading lady told the French fashion magazine L’Officiel.
“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.”
NC-17 rating awarded for “some sexual content”
The MPAA has a five category rating system, with NC-17 given only to movies that are “clearly adult”. In movie theaters those seventeen and under cannot be admitted to the showing. It is a designation that is rarely given as it generally deters venues from screening the film in question, while newspapers and television stations are often reluctant to advertise the production.
One of the “uncomfortable places” that de Armas was talking about is a rape scene that was put into the movie at the behest of director Andrew Dominik. The movie ‘Blonde’ is based on the 2000 bestselling novel of the same name written by Joyce Carol Oates, which includes the graphic scene. The Kiwi director admitted to Screen Daily that had been some back and forth with Netflix about just how far he could go with the scene and what was acceptable to include.
He claims that some elements of the movie, which attempts to delve into the Hollywood icon’s psyche by adding fictionalised events, could only be made in the current environment.
“It wouldn’t have got done without the [#MeToo] social movement, because nobody was interested in that sort of [explicative] — what it’s like to be an unloved girl, or what it’s like to go through the Hollywood meat-grinder,” said Dominik.
The rating, for that matter, didn’t come as much of a surprise to Dominik.
In his interview with Screen Daily, he dispelled rumors that Netflix was unhappy with far more explicit sexual scenes that weren’t even in his production of ‘Blonde’ to begin with. As for the effect the rating will have on audiences wanting to see his adaptation of Oates’ book, “It’s an NC-17 movie about Marilyn Monroe, it’s kind of what you want, right?” he said. “I want to go and see the NC-17 version of the Marilyn Monroe story.”