Marilyn Monroe’s official estate comes in defense of Ana de Armas, who plays the Hollywood icon in Andrew Dominik and Netflix’s upcoming drama “Blonde.” An official trailer for the film premiered online on July 28, causing many viewers to be outraged by De Armas’ casting, as her accent didn’t quite match Monroe’s iconic, husky tone. The film is not authorized by Monroe’s estate, but the group is nonetheless behind the casting of the Armas.
“Marilyn Monroe is a unique Hollywood and pop culture icon that transcends generations and history,” said Marc Rosen, president of entertainment at Authentic Brands Group (ABG), owner of the Marilyn Monroe Estate. “Any actor who steps into that role knows he has big shoes to fill. Based on the trailer alone, it looks like Ana was a great casting choice as she captures Marilyn’s glamour, humanity and vulnerability. We can’t wait to see what happens.” see the movie in its entirety!”
De Armas previously told The Times of London that she spent nearly an entire year working on her Monroe accent for “Blonde” before filming began. The actor said: “It took me nine months of dialect coaching, practice and some ADR sessions [to get the accent right]. It was a great torture, so exhausting. My brain was fried.”
“Blonde” is based on the novel by Joyce Carol Oates. The drama reinterprets Monroe’s life, from her fleeting childhood as Norma Jeane to her rise to stardom. The supporting cast includes Bobby Cannavale, Adrien Brody, Julianne Nicholson, Xavier Samuel and Evan Williams. The film will debut in competition at the Venice Film Festival.
Most complaints about De Armas’s casting noted that she maintained her Cuban accent, which is not what Monroe sounded like. De Armas told Vanity Fair in 2020 that Dominik’s decision to cast a Cuban actor as an American icon was “groundbreaking”.
“I only had to audition for Marilyn once and Andrew said, ‘It’s you,’ but I had to audition for everyone else,” de Armas told the magazine. “The producers. The money people. I always have people I had to convince. But I knew I could do it. Playing Marilyn was groundbreaking. A Cuban playing Marilyn Monroe. I wanted it so badly. You see that famous photo of her and she’s smiling in the moment, but that’s just part of what she was really going through at that moment.”
Netflix will open “Blonde” worldwide on September 28.