"Blonde" Director Reveals He Ignored Parts Of Marilyn Monroe’s Life Because Her Suicide Was The “Most Important Thing”

"Blonde" Director Reveals He Ignored Parts Of Marilyn Monroe’s Life Because Her Suicide Was The “Most Important Thing”
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"Blonde" Director Reveals He Ignored Parts Of Marilyn Monroe’s Life Because Her Suicide Was The “Most Important Thing”

"If you look at the Instagram version of her life, she’s got it all. And she killed herself. Now, to me, that’s the most important thing. It’s not the rest. It’s not the moments of strength."

D_vwm6h3N_large.jpg?crop=359%3A360%3B92%2C15&downsize=60:*&output-format=jpg&output-quality=autoby Molly Capobianco

BuzzFeed Staff

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Content warning: This post contains mentions of suicide.

In a new interview from Sight and Sound by film and culture writer Christina Newland, Blonde director Andrew Dominik revealed he opted to not include aspects of Marilyn Monroe's life because he thought her killing herself was "the most important thing."

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Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection

The interview comes after the release of Dominik's controversial movie, Blonde, based on a novel of the same name by Joyce Carol Oates.

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Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

Even just after the trailer dropped, the movie was faced with immediate backlash, as people viewed the film as incredibly exploitative, dehumanizing, and a "violent fantasy" of Monroe's life.

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Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

Newland says she “detested” the film, but is very familiar with Monroe and her life — and, as a film critic, also with Dominik’s filmography. So she was able to push back and ask him informed and incredibly important questions regarding the film and its portrayal of Monroe.

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Stefania D'alessandro / WireImage

When she asked about Monroe's accomplishments (creating Marilyn Monroe Productions, "opposing anti-communist witch-hunts," and advocating for civil rights) and what it means to an audience if they're not included in a film about her, he responded, "That stuff is not really what the film is about. It’s about a person who is going to be killing themself."

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Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

He goes on to say, "If you look at the Instagram version of her life, she’s got it all. And she killed herself. Now, to me, that’s the most important thing. It’s not the rest. It’s not the moments of strength."

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Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

Dominik adds, "OK, she wrested control away from the men at the studio, because, you know, women are just as powerful as men. But that’s really looking at it through a lens that’s not so interesting to me. I’m more interested in how she feels, I’m interested in what her emotional life was like."

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Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

Newland asked Dominik about the possible repercussions of audiences thinking this portrayal of Monroe is factual. He responded, "I don’t think that matters. Why would it matter?"

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Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

Since the interview came out, people have been asserting that Dominik should have included more about Monroe's life, rather than focusing on just her trauma and sadness and basically reducing her entire life to how she died.

W1YfHhTQ_normal.jpg Edwin Eckert @johnedwineckert

@christinalefou @SightSoundmag ps: Hemingway killed himself. No director would be like: “we left the stuff about his life out because this was a man who killed himself.”

05:30 AM - 28 Sep 2022

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Twitter: @johnedwineckert

B64cPmzK_normal.jpg Ghoul Spook Films @RoyalStagFilms1

@christinalefou @SightSoundmag Instantly seeing a problem in the fact that he thinks she killed herself so everything is about her being so sad, neglecting that she was a multidimensional human being who was battling against a world that tried to control her.

05:10 PM - 27 Sep 2022

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Twitter: @RoyalStagFilms1

Some even brought up the fact that Monroe's death was a "probable suicide" and that there's still a mystery surrounding what really happened:

BmvYO8jB_normal.jpg Clare Mignon @ClareMignon

@TracieHunte @passport_stamps Yeah, which is a weird hill for him to die on because her death was one of the most ambiguous things about her life.

08:50 PM - 27 Sep 2022

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Twitter: @ClareMignon

Others brought up the fact that because the film was based on a fictional book, the movie didn't need to focus on any other aspects of Monroe's life, as it's not a biopic:

hav3_l5I_normal.jpg Gabe Kanae @GabeKanae

@ItsKensWay @christinalefou @SightSoundmag Fair, but you’d get that from a MM biopic. This is NOT that.

This is dramatic fiction film based on the book which intention is creating an image of MM from the societal view, not the accurate realistic view.

10:41 AM - 28 Sep 2022

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Twitter: @GabeKanae

Overall though, many people speculated that Dominik just doesn't like Monroe:

y82TVsMc_normal.jpg Tracie Hunte @TracieHunte

@christinalefou @SightSoundmag Reading this, I kinda got the sense that he hates Marilyn.

05:14 PM - 27 Sep 2022

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Twitter: @TracieHunte

LmoOGRHY_normal.jpg ana⁴⁴ @anapau_villa

@christinalefou @SightSoundmag This was such an infuriating read. Thank you for asking the questions many of us had after watching it but by God I almost wish we’d never gotten the answers. His utter contempt for Marilyn is sickening, to say the least.

04:17 PM - 27 Sep 2022

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Twitter: @anapau_villa

2Q2ML8OP_normal.jpg N. ☠️