Ana de Armas paid her respects to Marilyn Monroe more than once while appearing as the Hollywood icon in Blonde.
The 34-year-old Cuban-Spanish actor stars in the new Netflix movie based on Joyce Carol Oates’ novel of the same name.
In a new interview with Variety, de Armas said that she struggled to move on from the role after filming wrapped.
“I couldn’t say goodbye,” she said. “I couldn’t shake it off. I couldn’t let her go. I went to visit her at her cemetery a few times – I would have liked to go one more time.”
Monroe is buried at Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park and Mortuary in Los Angeles. It is also the final resting place of many other stars, including the authors Truman Capote and Jackie Collins, actors Jack Lemmon, Burt Lancaster and Natalie Wood, as well as singers Roy Orbison, Minnie Riperton and Dean Martin. Hugh Hefner of Playboy is famously buried next to Monroe.
De Armas ended up filming her scenes as Paloma, the glamorous CIA agent who fells baddies in a thigh-slit dress, in No Time to Die the day after finishing work on Blonde.
“If you think about Paloma now,” she told Variety, “I am sure that there is some Marilyn in there. There is! Her energy and her charm and this thing where she was lit from the inside – Paloma stole a little bit of her.”
In a separate cover story for AnOther magazine, de Armas spoke about asking for “permission” to film the movie from Monroe at her grave.
“We got this big card, and everyone in the crew wrote a message to her,” she said.
“Then we went to the cemetery and put it on her grave. We were asking for permission in a way. Everyone felt a huge responsibility, and we were very aware of the side of the story we were going to tell — the story of Norma Jeane, the person behind this character, Marilyn Monroe. Who was she really?”
Blonde premieres on Netflix 28 September.