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New Marilyn Monroe Biopic Explores Her Connection to Mexico

The story of Marilyn Monroe’s life has always had a mythic quality to it.

From her humble beginnings as Norma Jeane Mortenson to her secret affair with JFK, Monroe is as much an icon as she is a mystery; someone who’s been immortalized in a way that very few movie stars ever are.

A new film from Miami-based studio BTF Media, in collaboration with Loz Dos Studios, is set to explore one of Monroe’s best-kept secrets: her Latina heritage.

During a time where many Hollywood stars changed their names to better fit in to the Anglo-American archetype that dominated the culture, Monroe’s Mexican roots became one of the most private parts of her identity.

But the truth is, her mother Gladys Pearl was born in Mexico after her parents moved to Mexico in the 1890s, according to a Medium post that digs into Monroe’s history with Mexico.

Thanks to the FBI and the Freedom of Information Act, there’s now mounting evidence to prove that Monroe had some kind of a relationship with those roots, including her many trips to Mexico throughout her life.

She’s not the only one, either. Remember Rita Hayworth? Well, her real name is Margarita Carmen Cansino. Raquel Welch? Her real name is Raquel Tejada.

Courtesy of Getty Images

The new film will be produced by BTF Media founders Francisco Cordero and Ricardo Coeto as well as Dennis Polar from Loz Dos Studios. According to Variety:

“For such a well-known figure, it must have been incredibly difficult for Marilyn to keep such a secret. It’s an honor to shine a light on her as a Latina becoming comfortable with her roots,” Cordero said.

“The Latinx community has so many vibrant stories to share and this film will bring an underrepresented point of view to Marilyn’s iconic story,” said Polar.

Hollywood studios at the time went as far as to request that Monroe not speak Spanish during her trips to Mexico, despite her being a mostly fluent speaker.

She agreed for a time, but by the early 1960s, she had begun to embrace her Latin roots more and more. One anecdote quotes Monroe responding to a reporter, in perfect Spanish, who asked her if she’d ever marry a Mexican actor: “¿Y por qué actor? ¡Con un mexicano basta!”

This isn’t the only Marilyn Monroe film currently in the works, nor is it the only one with ties to Monroe’s Latina heritage. The upcoming “Blonde” from writer-director Andrew Dominik stars Ana de Armas as Monroe, although his film is a fictional account of her life.

Sources at Netflix, which is producing and distributing the film, has called “Blonde” unreleasable due to its graphic content. Netflix also recently released “The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes.”

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