Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How Adrien Brody's Arthur Miller Research For Netflix's Blonde Threw Him For A Loop

Adrien Brody's most recent acting endeavor is portraying famed playwright Arthur Miller (known for works such as "Death of a Salesman" and "The Crucible") in the Netflix Marilyn Monroe-centered film, "Blonde," opposite Ana de Armas in the leading role. The film — written and directed by Andrew Dominik and based on the 2000 novel by Joyce Carol Oates — depicts a fictionalized imagining of Monroe's life, from her troubled childhood through her career and multiple marriages. One of those marriages portrayed in the film is to Miller, who, in real life, Monroe was married to from 1956 to 1961 (via Vanity Fair).

Playing a real person definitely requires more specific preparation from the actors taking on the roles. De Armas, for one, had an extensive and rigorous process to prepare to play the iconic film star. At the same time, Brody also put in his fair share of research before stepping on set to portray Miller, and his research ended up throwing him for a loop.

Adrien Brody was surprised by the change in Arthur Miller over various time periods

Adrien Brody recently sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to discuss all things "Blonde" — including how he prepared to play Arthur Miller. Brody began, "He's one of our greatest playwrights ever, obviously, and his work is so nuanced. The irony is that so many of his plays revolve around family structure, family drama and tragedy — and his place in this piece of storytelling is a tumultuous family tragedy."

Brody explained that, in order to honor Miller with his performance, he did extensive research about the playwright's life as a whole, including the many facets that don't show up in "Blonde." By looking at his life and career as a whole, Brody was trying to gain an understanding of the context of the time he spent married to Monroe. Then, after he had done most of his research, he was thrown for a loop by director Andrew Dominik.

The actor detailed how much of his research had been watching videos of Miller, mostly toward the end of his life, and using that to figure out his portrayal — until Dominik showed him footage of Miller from around the time that he was married to Monroe. Brody continued, "I was like, 'Oh, no...' Because in the footage I was watching, he was a lot older and his voice had changed quite drastically. It was much more gravelly. We were pretty close to starting shooting, but the stuff Andrew showed me helped me adjust a lot, thankfully. It's interesting how a matter of years can bring an entirely different weight and a shift in a person's presentation."