'Blonde' Star Ana de Armas Is Ready To Disarm The Universe

Blonde Ana de Armas Marilyn Monroe Netflix

For many, Ana de Armas’ rise to prominence may feel like an overnight sensation. The Cuban-born actress is the latest to bring silver screen legend, Marilyn Monroe, roaring back to life via the Netflix vehicle “Blonde.” For many other movie fans, de Armas is a familiar face, and her ascent to center stage and the top of the Hollywood A-list has been a long time coming.

Knowing what it took to get here makes Ana de Armas’ feat in “Blonde” and the buzz surrounding her performance as the late, great Marilyn Monroe - no less magical. The actress first caught my attention in the claustrophobic remake “Knock Knock” starring a very non “John Wick” Keanu Reeves. It is no exaggeration to say that Ana de Armas stole every scene she had in it.

According to a recent profile on “The Today Show,” that is when Andrew Dominik, the director of Netflix’s “Blonde,” noticed de Armas and her uncanny resemblance to Marilyn Monroe, and his quest to bring Ana de Armas to the screen as Monroe subsequently began. His move makes perfect sense. In her work before and after “Knock Knock,” de Armas has continually proven her memorable turn in that gut-churner was not a one-off fluke.

Going in order of how I saw them, Ana de Armas breezily handled the pressure of 2011’s claustrophobic laundry mat horror movie “Blind Alley.” In real time, de Armas would follow that up years later with a nuanced pixie-dream-girl turn in the highly moving HIV drama “For a Handful of Kisses.”

Unfortunately, Netflix did not keep the original 2007-2010 Spanish TV series “El Internado” starring Ana de Armas long enough for me to binge the series entirely. Nor has Amazon picked it up despite streaming its reboot. From what I did see the show would be a worthwhile investment and de Armas shows immediate promise in it while surrounding by future Spanish TV stars future Spanish TV stars.

Ana de Armas has stood out in every role she has inhabited, and she has played them to the hilt. Whether in her supporting roles in “The Night Clerk,” “War Dogs,” or “Wasp Network,” she sold all of them with dazzling star quality. When it came time to enchant audiences as the heroine caught in the middle with a bunch of “Knives Out,” de Armas played the girl-next-door with innocence galore.

In a show of her range, Ana de Armas has not backed down from a difficult role either. She moved forward with a movie straight out of Adrian Lyne’s infamous playbook as the director returned for his first film since “Unfaithful.” The riveting and undeservedly panned “Deep Water” showed the depths of de Armas’ talent as she swam through the challenge of an unlikable femme fatale like a knife through butter.

Ana de Armas is the rarely realized full package. She is a multilingual, dynamic actress with comic abilities, action skills (“No Time to Die”), dramatic intention, and the ability to strike up chemistry in seconds (“Overdrive”). Imagine what she could have done with even more time to sizzle opposite Ryan Gosling in “The Gray Man”? Exactly.

Interestingly, Ana de Armas made her English-language debut as a blonde in “Knock Knock” and could have her biggest breakout by reprising the look. Can you say full circle? Whatever the case, the universe has gotten something right. Ana de Armas should be at the center of Hollywood’s golden orbit.