‘Blonde’: It Took 5 ‘Incredibly Challenging’ Wigs to Transform Ana De Armas’ Dark Hair Into Marilyn Monroe’s Platinum Locks

Blonde is one of the most hotly-anticipated films of the year, set to start streaming on Netflix in September 2022. The biographical psychological drama features Ana De Armas as a fictionalized version of the iconic Hollywood star Marilyn Monroe.

Loosely based on a popular novel, Blonde has been in production for years due to numerous delays due to COVID-19. As fans plan to watch, many want to know how much work went into transforming De Armas’ brunette locks into Monroe’s iconic blonde hairstyle.

Ana De Armas is portraying a fictionalized version of Marilyn Monroe in ‘Blonde’

A brunette Ana de Armas attends the "No Time To Die" World Premiere in London
Ana de Armas at the No Time To Die premiere in London | Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

De Armas has appeared in several acclaimed movies recently, including the recent James Bond film, No Time to Die. However, the actor admitted she’s never worked harder than on Blonde.

In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, De Armas opened up about what it was like filming No Time to Die and Blonde simultaneously in the summer of 2019. “I was preparing for Blonde, and then the film got pushed, and I got called for No Time to Die,” the 34-year-old revealed. “I went to London, and I only had like 10 days to two weeks of training, which is not much for everything I had to do, which made me very nervous.”

De Armas said of her role as Monroe, “It was the most intense work I’ve ever done as an actress. It took me a year to prepare for that — research and accent and everything you can imagine. Reading material, and talking to [director] Andrew Dominik for months, and getting ready to start.”

The hair and makeup team on ‘Blonde’ worked hard to transform Ana De Armas

From the beginning, Dominik knew De Armas was the performer he wanted to portray Monroe. Still, filming the movie proved to be incredibly challenging, especially in light of the COVID-19 production delays.

The director explained that the movie itself is intense, mirroring Monroe’s own life. “It’s sort of a story of a person whose rational picture of the world as being overwhelmed by her unconscious, and it uses the iconography of Marilyn Monroe,” Dominik said. Fans have already praised the remarkable resemblance between De Armas and Monroe. But it wasn’t easy for the actor to transform into the blonde superstar.

Blonde hairstylist Jaime Leigh McIntosh recently told Marie Claire, “As you can imagine, it was a massive undertaking. Not only were we creating so many looks for the story arch of the script, but we also had to match multiple, iconic images of Marilyn and Norma Jeane.”

In fact, the hair and makeup team utilize d30 different looks to mirror Monroe throughout her life. McIntosh revealed that she partnered with a specialty wig maker to create two different wigs for De Armas to wear as “young Marilyn.” The specialty wig maker also created three more wigs to portray the star in her movie-star era.

The ‘Blonde’ hair and makeup team relied on five wigs

The team used wigs to transform De Armas into a blonde. But they also relied on plenty of products to keep those wigs in tip-top shape. “Whenever you use too much product in a wig, the life and movement stops and they become dull, so I avoid using too much of anything,” McIntosh said.

She noted that she and her team relied on products such as L’Oréal Tecni Pli Setting Lotion to set the wigs in rollers, TRESemme Tres Two Unscented Hairspray, and René Furterer Shine Mist to keep the wigs shiny and healthy-looking.

Finally, to keep De Armas’ own hair healthy, McIntosh utilized conditioning treatments. Two examples she gave: Masque à l’Orchidée by Leonor Greyl and Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector.

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