Andrew Dominik Discusses 45-Day Blonde Shoot, Calls it ‘Less Boring’

Blonde has finally arrived on Netflix after much anticipation. The film, based on the novel by Joyce Carol Oates, brings the life of Marilyn Monroe to the big screen, albeit a fictionalized one. Unfortunately, the movie was notoriously difficult to make, as director Andrew Dominik spent more than a decade turning his adaptation into a feature film. As it turns out, the pre-production process for Blonde lasted far longer than the actual shoot. Dominik claims filming was very short, putting the crew under constant pressure.

During an interview with IndieWire, the director, who helmed films such as Killing Them Softly and Chopper, says they filmed the entirety of Blonde in just 45 days, and he wouldn’t have had it any other way. “It’s less boring. I have done stuff where you shoot take after take of a 15-minute dialogue scene and you start to bore yourself,” he explains. “There’s something about having to operate from instinct, particularly for the crew. There’s a lot of camera protocol that I try to dispense with and just throw them in before they’re ready, and it’s amazing how good they are on instinct.” Dominik continues, “You’ll see a focus puller who doesn’t know what the actor’s going to do, and they pull focus really well when they don’t know what’s coming. Then on the next take, when they do know what’s coming, they’re not as good.”

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Dominik certainly takes an interesting approach to filmmaking, where he believes the best practice is no practice at all. He loves the added pressure of a restricted shoot, as Dominik believes it brings the best out of his crew. “There’s something about that sort of panic that really gives the film a kind of visceral quality, I feel,” he says. “I do like to put people under pressure, at least behind the camera, because I think they work better. There’s something raw and authentic about it.” Fans can decide for themselves how they feel about the filmmaking techniques used in Blonde, as it’s available to stream on Netflix now.

Blonde Could Lead to an Award Season Push for Ana de Armas

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Ana de Armas is the glue that holds Blonde together, and Andrew Dominik realized it early on. During his interview, the director praises the lead star, saying the film never would’ve been possible without her. “She was always better than I thought she was going to be,” Dominik says. “I mean, I couldn’t have shot that movie in 45 days without her because she was the rock around which the whole thing had to function.” The 34-year-old gives a heartbreaking portrayal of Norma Jeane, depicting her at her highest and lowest points in life. The actress will undoubtedly be in the running for an Oscar nomination this year, as she’s hoping to receive some recognition during award season.

Blonde features a stellar cast surrounding Ana de Armas, including Julianne Nicholson, Colleen Foy, Ryan Vincent, Bobby Cannavale, Adrien Brody, Michael Drayer, and Sara Paxton. Fans can check out the latest film from Andrew Dominik and Ana De Armas, available on Netflix.