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Marilyn Monroe Estate Defends Ana de Armas Casting Amid ‘Blonde’ Accent Backlash

The Marilyn Monroe Estate supports the Cuban actress over complaints that she doesn't sound like the screen icon in the latest trailer.

Blonde. L to R: Xavier Samuel as Cass Chaplin, Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe and Evan Williams as Eddy G. Robinson Jr.. Cr. Matt Kennedy / Netflix © 2022

“Blonde”

Matt Kennedy/NETFLIX

Ana de Armas’ Cuban accent has been at the center of controversy surrounding her casting as Marilyn Monroe for Andrew Dominik’s “Blonde.”

Based on Joyce Carol Oates’ fictionalized narrative of Monroe’s life in a novel of the same name, the film stars de Armas as the titular blonde bombshell who skyrocketed to fame as a comedic actress, singer, and sex symbol before her untimely death at age 36. After the trailer for the NC-17-rated Netflix film, out September 28, was released, questions arose over de Armas’ breathy take on Monroe’s voice. Now, the official Marilyn Monroe Estate is standing by casting de Armas in the unauthorized portrayal.

“Marilyn Monroe is a singular Hollywood and pop culture icon that transcends generations and history,” Marc Rosen, president of entertainment at Authentic Brands Group (ABG), which owns the Marilyn Monroe Estate, told Variety. “Any actor that steps into that role knows they have 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 the film in its entirety!”

To note, “Blonde” was not completed in cooperation with Monroe’s estate, as it is a fictionalized portrait and not a biopic of the late star.

Director Dominik selected de Armas after almost a decade of trying to cast the lead role. Jessica Chastain and Naomi Watts were reportedly been attached to the film, in development since 2010. De Armas snagged the role in 2019. Adrien Brody, Bobby Cannavale, and Julianne Nicholson also co-star as real-life figures in Monroe’s life.

Dominik previously explained that he knew Cuban actress de Armas was “the one” to play Monroe after just a single audition. De Armas later told Vanity Fair that the opportunity to take on the legendary star is a career-making task.

“I knew I could do it. Playing Marilyn was groundbreaking, a Cuban playing Marilyn Monroe,” de Armas said in 2020. “I wanted it so badly. You see that famous photo of her and she is smiling in the moment, but that’s just a slice of what she was really going through at the time.”

De Armas’ “Knives Out” co-star Jamie Lee Curtis, whose father Tony Curtis starred opposite Monroe in “Some Like It Hot,” praised de Armas’ portrayal, saying, “I dropped to the floor. I couldn’t believe it. Ana was completely gone. She was Marilyn.”

De Armas trained for nine months with a dialect coach to perfect Monroe’s signature voice. “It was a big torture, so exhausting,” de Armas added. “My brain was fried.”

Writer-director Dominik also called de Armas “fucking amazing” as Monroe, telling Screen Daily, “The one thing nobody’s going to complain about is [de Armas’] performance.”

For all the details on “Blonde,” click here.

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