Ana De Armas Hadn't Fully Let Go Of Marilyn Monroe Before Shooting No Time To Die

The life of a working actor can be quite unusual. Yes, plenty of other professions require you to go from gig to gig and adapt to whatever task is at hand. But for an actor, those gigs are embodying the life of another person. No other job has you be a beleaguered cop about to snap one day, and then the next day, you fly halfway across the country to be a magnanimous rock star. You switch personas and inner lives enough times that there's no question that one will bleed into the other. Being able to completely shake off one person, particularly one that goes through a lot of pain that you personally connect with, is nearly impossible.

Ana de Armas has had a very busy last few years. Her busyness is well-deserved, as she has shown to be one of the more electric screen presences in quite a while from her work in "Blade Runner 2049," "Knives Out," "Deep Water," and more. Consequently, this means that she has to be hopping from project to project without a significant amount of time to recover from the one she just completed. Andrew Dominik's "Blonde," in which de Armas plays the beloved and immensely troubled movie star Marilyn Monroe, may be hitting theaters now, but that film was actually shot before a film she is featured in that we saw over a year ago: "No Time to Die."

In fact, the day after "Blonde" wrapped production, Ana de Armas got on a plane to go shoot her truly phenomenal sequence as Paloma, a Cuban agent eager to assist James Bond. It's one of those firecracker performances that makes you wish she was in the entire film, which makes sense because de Armas knows that Marilyn Monroe hadn't left her yet.

'Paloma stole a little bit of her'

I think it goes without saying that Marilyn Monroe is the most titanic role of Ana de Armas' career thus far. Not only does she play someone with a ton of cultural baggage due to her fame, but Marilyn also lived a hard, painful life that Andrew Dominik hopes to capture as brutally as he can in "Blonde." Plus, there is the technical work of the accent, posture, and mannerisms that she has to incorporate into that psychology. Living in that skin day after day would take its toll on anyone, and being able to step out of it within 24 hours would be difficult for anyone to do. When she arrived to shoot "No Time to Die," Ana de Armas was not ready to leave Marilyn behind. She said to Variety:

"I couldn't say goodbye. 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 ... If you think about Paloma now, 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."

Even though "Blonde" is a rough a tumble film, I am glad she was able to channel the exuberance of Marilyn Monroe for a purely positive purpose in "No Time to Die." That is a film I find a ton of enjoyment in, but when she first appears on screen, the film kicks into a whole new gear. For the next ten to fifteen minutes, there is no place you'd rather be than watching her excitedly kick bad guys in the face. I'm glad Marilyn could help out.