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HomeentertainmentMovie NewsHow 'Blonde' Star Ana de Armas Became Marilyn Monroe

How 'Blonde' Star Ana de Armas Became Marilyn Monroe

When recreating the most famous icons, one might think that the approach is to imitate the original. If only for director Andrew DominiqueBlonde to resurrect Marilyn Monroe it would be that simple. “Andrew said to me, ‘Don’t just put Marilyn on Ana [de Armas]. You have to find Marilyn on Ana,'” says Tina Roesler Kerwin, head of makeup . Mackintosh’s first day of production was a photoshoot, creating still images that showcase Marilyn’s rise to fame throughout the film. It was in putting together more than three dozen looks that they were able to practice perfecting the two-and-a-half-hour process of transforming de Armas into Monroe. “A lot of things were erased before we could rebuild,” Kerwin said. “Her brows were not the same shape, so I reshaped them. Her eyes were not the same shape, so the lashes were raised a little bit, and the eyeshadow was pulled down a little bit. Her upper and lower lips were reshaped too.”

Also in these photoshoots, they figured out that bald caps don’t work. “Realizing that wigs might be changed multiple times a day, regular bald caps are not only uncomfortable, but can’t withstand removal and rebonding,” says Kerwin, who came up with the idea of ​​using silicone to cover the hairline. “Silicone transfers are thin and clear. We custom made these to fit Ana’s head shape and these will go on before any of Jaime Leigh’s beautiful wigs.” Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe

Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe. Provided by Netflix

Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe

While the still images were shot using off-the-shelf wigs with the fronts removed and custom made, the three most used wigs throughout the film were custom made to fit the brunette de Armas . “You style everything from the right hair texture and color to how thick you want it, the shape you want around your hairline, the little baby hair, or in [Marilyn’s] case, maybe bleaching her hair that can be damaged by bleach,” McIntosh said. “You’re styling it from the ground up to emulate that hair that everyone knows.”

One of Kerwin’s biggest challenges was capturing Marilyn in her off-hours. “It’s tricky because if I pull the makeup too deep, then you either get a young Norma Jean or you get Ana,” she says. “Once she established that signature look, I just had to pull it up to the present and make it still look like Marilyn.” That’s where the wig did some of the heavier work. “I could push it a little further to bring out more of Marilyn’s natural texture, or mess it up, anything that would help with balance,” says Mackintosh.

To make Monroe into her final decade, Kerwin created wrinkles using the stippling technique. “It’s not a comfortable process for an actor to put on or take off, but if you do it right, you can have a very subtle, natural look,” she says. Around the same time, Monroe also changed her hair color to platinum blonde, further emphasizing the influence of her hard life. “We all know platinum is a difficult color to wear,” says McIntosh. “Combined with Tina’s makeup, it helped us enter a different Marilyn period.”

Kerwin describes the shoot as a moving train, with a tight schedule occasionally meaning that the first Two – guess what they put on the screen. “The scene where she sings ‘I want to be loved by you,’ we thought we got it right,” she said. “It was one of those moments that we might have felt more comfortable with if we had had more time to process it, but we just put it together in the best way we could – and then it showed up on camera. It looks incredible. It’s one of our favorites.”

Although most of their time was spent with de Armas, Kerwin and McIntosh were also prepared to What Dominik affectionately calls a “side dish”. Thankfully, the director is less concerned with making actors Bobby Cannavale and Adrien Brody look like Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller, respectively, and more concerned with capturing their essence . “‘Playwright’ and ‘ex-athlete’ are their actual character names,” McIntosh said of the Miller and DiMaggio characters in the film. “I don’t feel pressure from Andrew to make this match. The casting is great, which helps.”

Jaime Leigh McIntosh, second from left, with de Armas and Tina Roesler Kerwin, head of the hairdressing department. “She was very engaged and very patient when we were doing all of these things to her. In fact, she started helping us by taking things. When we put them together, it helped her see herself as Marilyn. Courtesy Matt Kennedy/Netflix 537169

Cannavale came in with DiMaggio-like hair, and a gap between his teeth. Kerwin worked on his sideburns while McIntosh worked on his mane. “His Hair is naturally curly, so he educated us in that, like, ‘This is what you need to do,'” McIntosh said. Separated on the same side, it gives him a Joe DiMaggio vibe. “

Creating Arthur Miller, McIntosh’s challenge was Miller’s receding hairline. “We didn’t want to completely destroy Adrian’s hairline for his personal life, so we Made a little refinement. We also use a wet gel to style the roots so it separates more and you can see more of the scalp. We didn’t push it to Arthur Miller’s [hairline], but we got into it.

Watching the fruits of their labor, Kerwin and McIntosh are still in disbelief about the magnitude of the task they’ve accomplished. “The first time you see it, you think, ‘ My career is over,’ because you look at it and say, ‘We had to do this in a hurry that day,’ or, ‘We had to do that in the back of a van,'” Kerwin said. “Maybe [after] the third time, you really say, ‘Well, I might work again. ’ ” In fact, the two teamed up again for the John Wick spin-off Ballerina — plus, de Armas — their experience in Blonde is paying dividends. “It was really good that we danced around a head together,” Kerwin said. Rhythm forward. We laugh a lot, that’s for sure. ”

This story first appeared in the December stand-alone issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, 537169Click here to subscribe.



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