Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe (otherwise known as Norma Jeane)
In Blonde, Spanish-Cuban actress Ana de Armas is starring in the lead role as Marilyn Monroe. De Armas is one of Hollywood's up-and-coming stars, following her roles in films like Deep Water, Knives Out and James Bond's No Time To Die.
Born Norma Jeane Mortenson in 1926, Monroe was an American actress, comedienne, singer and model. Throughout her career, she became one of the world's most iconic figures and has eternally remained the embodiment of the Hollywood sex symbol.
Raised by a single mother who was financially and mentally unable to care for her, Marilyn was placed in foster care. As a child, Marilyn went between living in foster care and with her mother, which created an unstable household. At only 16 years old, she made the choice to marry neighbourhood friend, James Dougherty, however, they divorced in 1946.
Moving to New York and taking a series of acting classes, Marilyn's career began to take off. Throughout her life, she starred in iconic films such as The Seven Year Itch, Some Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Some Like It Hot, and became known in the modelling world for her platinum blonde bob, red pout and hourglass figure. She also became known for her relationships with Arthur Miller, Joe DiMaggio and, rumoured affair with President John F. Kennedy.
Tragically, Marilyn was found dead at her home in Los Angeles in August, 1962 at 36 years of age. According to the coroner's office, its records concluded that Marilyn passed away from an overdose of barbiturate, which they ruled as being a suicide, potentially by accident.
Adrien Brody as The Playwright (presumably Arthur Miller)
Adrien Brody is set to star as Blonde's 'The Playwright', who many are presuming is the infamous Arthur Miller. Brody is an American actor and producer, who received widespread recognition for his role as Władysław Szpilman in Roman Polanski's The Pianist. This role saw him win the Academy Award for Best Actor at the age of 29—the youngest actor to win in that category.
Arthur Miller was a famous playwright, most notable for his work in creating Death of a Salesman in 1949. Arthur and Marilyn became friends before her rise to fame, and remained friends for years. Apparently, they grew close after they were chatting at a party and Marilyn confessed she wanted to be taken seriously as a dramatic actor—and apparently, the room began to laugh, but Arthur took her seriously.
However, it is rumoured that Arthur was still married to his wife, Mary, at the time he began to fall in love with Marilyn. The pair later married in June 1956, and became known as Hollywood's 'most unlikely couple', but divorced five years later.
“She was destroyed by many things, and some of those things are you,” he said, referring to key figures in Hollywood, as per The Independent.
“Now as you stand there weeping and gawking, glad that it is not you going into the earth, glad that it is this lovely girl who you at last killed.”
Bobby Cannavale as The Ex-Athlete (presumably Joe DiMaggio)
Bobby Cannavale is set to star in Blonde as 'The Ex-Athlete', who many are presuming is famous sports star, Joe DiMaggio. Robert "Bobby" Cannavale is an American actor, who is known for his work in Boardwalk Empire, Will & Grace, Master of None and Nine Perfect Strangers. He's also been in a decade-long relationship with Australian actress Rose Byrne, and the pair share two children together, Rocco and Rafa.
Joseph Paul DiMaggio was an American baseball star, who spent his 13-year career as centre fielder in Major League Baseball for the New York Yankees. Throughout his rise to success, Joe's most famous achievement was his record-breaking 56-game hitting streak in 1941.
In 1952, Joe asked a mutual friend to arrange a dinner date with Marilyn, and the rest was history. By New Year's Eve 1953, the pair were engaged and mere days later, the pair were married in a small civil ceremony in San Francisco City Hall in January 1954. By October that same year, Marilyn stood before reporters, with her lawyer by her side, to announced that she'd be divorcing Joe on the grounds of "mental cruelty".
Julianne Nicholson as Monroe’s mother (otherwise known as Gladys Pearl Baker)
Julianne Nicholson is set to star in Blonde as Marilyn's mother, Gladys Pearl Baker. Nicolson is an American actress who is best known for her roles in the film August: Osage County, as well as TV shows like Law & Order, Masters of Sex and Mare of Easttown, which earned her a Primetime Emmy Award.
During Marilyn's childhood, Gladys struggled with her mental health, so had a hard time raising her child. Battling with undiagnosed paranoid schizophrenia, her relationship with her daughter was strained. Working as a film cutter at a Hollywood editing studio, Gladys gave birth to Marilyn in 1926, who never knew her father.
As a result of Gladys' struggles, Marilyn was removed from her care and placed into a foster family. However, she tried her best to visit her daughter whenever she could, as per author J. Randy Taraborrelli in The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe.
“The truth was that Gladys had a problem watching Ida [Marilyn's foster mother] raise her child,” said Mary Thomas-Strong, who knew Monroe’s first foster family.
“She was a professional mother, in a sense. She wanted to have her way with Norma Jeane, and it was hard for Gladys to be on the sidelines.”
By 1934, Gladys suffered a nervous breakdown and was sent to the state hospital in Norwalk, California. As a result, Marilyn was placed under the guardianship of her mother's friend, Grace McKee, who also worked in Hollywood's film industry. It was alleged that it was under McKee's care that Marilyn found her dream to become a movie star.
While Marilyn and Gladys' relationship was strained, the pair seemed to keep somewhat in touch. However, Gladys outlived her daughter, and passed away from heart failure in 1984.