Ana de Armas, a possible Oscar nominee for “Blonde,” discusses her efforts to maintain an air of mystery in a world strongly affected by Instagram.

Featured prominently on our 2023 Hollywood cover, Ana de Armas takes a hiatus from her demanding filming schedule for the John Wick spin-off, Ballerina, to engage in a virtual conversation with Vanity Fair via Zoom. The discussion traverses her intense portrayal as Marilyn Monroe in Andrew Dominik’s “Blonde,” her aspirations for greater involvement in production, and her insights into the transformation of Hollywood.

Ana de Armas: Amid embodying Marilyn Monroe, I’ve discovered relatable facets within her challenges. Beyond the iconic veneer of a movie star, she fundamentally represents an actress navigating the intricacies of life and the demanding entertainment industry. Andrew Dominik’s perspective, delving into her traumas, imparts depth to her portrayal. This approach serves to do justice to her multidimensional persona. I aspire to be remembered for more than just the surface image of a magazine cover.

Does Hollywood still cultivate figures akin to Marilyn?

The concept of a cinematic luminary has morphed due to the impact of social media and the widespread sharing of information. The aura of unattainability and enigma associated with movie stars has faded. This shift is partly a result of our own actions; we’ve unveiled ourselves entirely.

Did your involvement in “Blonde” reshape your view of Hollywood?

Without a doubt. It’s disheartening and challenging to observe historical patterns persisting even in contemporary times, despite the passage of eras. This heightened my sense of self-preservation, the need for boundaries, and the significance of setting limits on what I divulge. Concurrently, Hollywood offers extraordinary opportunities that I deeply appreciate.

Has curbing your social media usage aided in establishing these boundaries?

I’ve streamlined down to using just Instagram, and I employ it judiciously owing to its distortions. If it were solely up to me, I’d deactivate my Instagram account, but commitments beyond acting preclude that. I’m not solely an actress; I also engage with brands. Nevertheless, this approach has proven advantageous for projects like “Blonde” and films I wish to discuss. Striking a balance is intricate; there’s a constant pressure to share personal insights while safeguarding one’s privacy.

How did you navigate scrutiny during the gap between “Knives Out” and subsequent projects?

The pandemic brought challenges for everyone. In LA, scrutiny heightened due to monotony, affecting my personal life. My projects, such as “Bond” and “Blonde,” faced delays. However, I remained consistently engaged, which was a positive aspect.

Have opportunities shifted post-“Blonde”?

Following “Bond,” there was a surge in action-oriented roles, presenting intriguing choices. After “Ballerina,” I foresee a shift toward projects akin to “Blonde.” I’m drawn to character-driven work with directors I hold in high esteem. I’m expanding my network, and that prospect excites me.

You’ve embraced production roles, including advocating for Emerald Fennell’s involvement in “Ballerina.” How has this influenced your experience as an actress?

On set as an actress, my focus remains on the craft and relishing it. Yet, as a producer, I engage in discussions that occasionally involve actors. This ensures a voice in the filmmaking process. “Ballerina” exemplifies this dynamic; I advocated for a female writer, and the outcome benefits all involved.

Is there something you haven’t yet attempted but are eager to explore?

I’m content with my current trajectory. I aspire to produce a small narrative and fully nurture its development. My goal is to strike a balance between a schedule that allows for creativity and innovation, rather than perpetually jumping from one job to the next. It’s about sustaining momentum while dedicating more time to personal creativity and brainstorming.

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