Jessica Chastain has been somewhat of an enigma in Hollywood. With a name resembling royalty and glamour; Chastain has bagged some enviable roles in her career and has given brilliant performances to match and now her name is being attached to the next biopic, titled Blonde, on one of Hollywood’s most legendary stars that filmmakers cannot stop being obsessed with, Marilyn Monroe.
The film, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning historical novel by Joyce Carol Oates, is going to be different from the other films recently produced about Marilyn. Blonde is said to be focused on the inner, spiritual and emotional life of the star that has captivated the world for generations, along with her aura of beauty and glamour that was tinged with depression and strife.
Oates's 700-page novel, published in 2000, accounts many of Marilyn's infamous relationships, including one with United States president John F. Kennedy. Many of her alleged lovers haven’t been named, but they are clearly identified by the nicknames given to them by Marilyn and the context in which she talks about them. A male co-star from Some Like It Hot is labelled "C", who can be presumed to be Tony Curtis while Marilyn's husbands, Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller, feature as "the ex-Athlete" and "the Playwright" respectively. It’s no wonder Marilyn is famous for her illustrious and tumultuous affairs.
It’s going to be pleasant to see Chastain as a blonde once again, ditching her natural red hair. She also played a blonde as a ditzy but spirited woman in the period drama The Help, for which she received a best supporting actress Oscar nomination in 2011. Her other Academy Award nomination was for 2012's Zero Dark Thirty. Chastain has been particularly busy lately. She will star in a number of movies this year, including Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi mystery Interstellar with Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey, as well as Miss Julie - based on the 1888 play - with Samantha Morton and Colin Farrell. She is also currently filming Guillermo del Toro's horror Crimson Peake.
Blonde will be produced by Brad Pitt's production company Plan B, with the actor reportedly having been key in convincing Chastain to take the role. The two had worked together on Terrence Malik’s The Tree of Life in 2011, for which Chastain also received critical acclaim. Blonde is set to be directed by Andrew Dominik, known for his work on The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and Killing Them Softly, having cast Pitt in both films, and will also forge the film from his own script.
The film was first reported for making back in 2010 and has been an infatuation project for Dominik. Chastain having been cast was a move to ensure that Marilyn is channelled as a lost and lonely movie star trapped inside a world of glamour and frivolity of her own volition. Judging from Chastain’s and Dominik’s previous work, Blonde might just be a step up from the other Marilyn biopics that Hollywood has turned out in recent years. Shooting for the film is set to start in August this year with a release in 2015.