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‘Blonde’ Director Andrew Dominik Calls Marilyn Monroe’s ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ a Film About ‘Well-Dressed Whores’

Variety
Variety
 2022-09-27
©20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection

“Blonde” director Andrew Dominik has previously said he was unfamiliar with Marilyn Monroe’s filmography before adapting Joyce Carol Oates’ book about the late actor. Now, Dominik says Monroe starred in a “whole lot of movies that nobody really watches,” calling her famous romance film “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” a movie about “well-dressed whores.”

Dominik’s comments were part of an outtake from an interview with the British Film Institute’s Sight and Sound Magazine. Journalist Christina Newland, who conducted the interview, posted the transcript on Twitter, in which Dominik asked, “Does anyone watch Marilyn Monroe movies?” Newland added in a follow-up tweet: “I do want to make sure I’m doing my due diligence here: [Dominik] did talk about and reference many of her films. He clearly had studied and watched everything: whether he liked it (bar ‘Some Like it Hot,’ which he loves) another story, evidently.”

In the interview, Dominik also addressed criticisms over the film’s NC-17 portrayals of abortion and sexual assault. The director, who previously boasted that the film would “offend everyone,” responded: “I’m not concerned with being tasteful.”

“Well, she was a strange sex symbol because she doesn’t have to die at the end [of her films] like a Barbara Stanwyck or a Rita Hayworth,” Dominik said. “But she had to be a little baby… I think Marilyn was a guy’s girl. I don’t think she was a woman who had a lot of female friends. But then I think she was a woman who didn’t have a lot of friends. There is a sense that we want to reinvent her according to today’s political concerns. But she was a person who was extraordinarily self-destructive.”

Dominik added: “I think she was clearly an extraordinarily powerful person. But I don’t think she was built for success in the way that people see it today. So with everyone there are moments of strength, and people want to say that she took control of her life. But she wanted to destroy her life. So I think the film is about the meaning of Marilyn Monroe. Or a meaning. She was symbolic of something. She was the Aphrodite of the 20th century, the American goddess of love. And she killed herself. So what does that mean?”

“Blonde,” starring Ana de Armas as Monroe, is currently in select theaters and premieres on Netflix Wednesday, Sept. 28.

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