The biopic is Netflix's first-ever feature with the rating.
For the first time in a very long time, one of the most anticipated movies of the season is coming with an NC-17 rating. That very unusual badge of honor is going to Netflix's Marilyn Monroe biopic, Blonde, which stars Ana de Armas as Norma Jean Baker (who would go on to become Marilyn Monroe) in the Joyce Carol Oates adaptation.
"I didn't understand why that happened," Armas told L'Officiel. "I can tell you a number of shows or movies that are way more explicit with a lot more sexual content than Blonde."
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Andrew Dominik, the film's director, has also spoken about his surprise over the rating. In an interview with Vulture, he insists that he "colored inside the lines" when it came the making the movie.
"I think if you've got a bunch of men and women in a boardroom talking about sexual behavior, maybe the men are going to be worried about what the women think," Dominik says. "It's just a weird time. It's not like depictions of happy sexuality. It's depictions of situations that are ambiguous."
He then defended the rating, saying that it may be the only way to showcase Marilyn Monroe's tumultuous life, saying, "I think if I'm given the choice, I'd rather go and see the NC-17 version of the Marilyn Monroe story. Because we know that her life was on the edge, clearly, from the way it ended. Do you want to see the warts-and-all version or do you want to see that sanitized version?"
For her part, de Armas is on the same page as her director, saying that she knew when she was making the movie that it wasn't going to be a glossy fairy tale. Instead, she noted, she and the rest of the crew all went to "uncomfortable places" in order to make the film happen.
"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," she said. "Everyone [in the cast] knew we had to go to uncomfortable places. I wasn't the only one."
Blonde arrives on Netflix on September 28.