Adrien Brody spoke with The Hollywood Reporter before "Blonde" premiered at Venice Film Festival.
Brody, 49, addressed criticism around Marilyn Monroe's portrayal in the film.
He said the film is "rife with exploitation and trauma" because Monroe's life was "full of that."
Adrien Brody defended his latest film, "Blonde," against critics who said the movie was exploitative towards Marilyn Monroe.
"Blonde," starring Ana de Armas, debuted at the Venice Film Festival on September 8, where it received a 14-minute standing ovation. However, critics have taken fault with the film after it hit theaters on September 16, and was available to Netflix subscribers on September 28.
Fox News and People noted that critics characterized the film as exploitative, with The Washington Post's Ann Hornaday writing it "not only re-objectifies Monroe but revels in her victimization and self-abnegation."
Brody, 49, spoke to The Hollywood Reporter and swatted down criticism by saying the film mimicked Monroe's real life. Brody plays playwright Arthur Miller, Monroe's third husband, in the film.
"You know, the novel and the film are both rife with themes of exploitation and trauma. And Marilyn's life, unfortunately, was full of that," Brody told the outlet. "I think that since it's told in this first-person perspective, it works somehow for the film to be a traumatic experience, because you're inside of her — her journey and her longings and her isolation — amidst all of this adulation."
Brody continued that the film was "brave" and "takes a while to digest."
"I think it's in conflict with what the public's perception of her life is," he added. "And I think that's where the film triumphs, because — whether it's an extreme depiction or not — it's honoring the extreme chasm between the public's perception of the fame and the glory of Hollywood's most famous, iconic actor, and the reality of that individual, the loneliness and emptiness and mental turmoil and abuse of that individual."
"Blonde" is based on a 2000 bestselling biographical fiction novel by Joyce Carol Oates. The film was rated NC-17, meaning individuals under 17 aren't allowed to purchase tickets at theatres. Julianna Nicholson, Bobby Cannavale, and Michael Drayer also star in the film alongside de Armas and Brody.
Insider's Jason Guerrasio called "Blonde" a "depressing fever dream" despite a strong performance by de Armas.
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