Marilyn Monroe’s estate defended Ana de Armas’ casting as the late Hollywood icon in the upcoming Netflix movie “Blonde.”
Last week, de Armas received backlash on social media following the release of the trailer for “Blonde,” with some claiming that the Cuban actress did not sound like Monroe in the clip.
The film is not officially authorized by Monroe’s estate, but Marc Rosen — president of entertainment at Authentic Brands Group (ABG), which owns the Marilyn Monroe Estate — told Variety that the group approves of de Armas’ casting.
“Marilyn Monroe is a singular Hollywood and pop culture icon that transcends generations and history,” Rosen said. “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!”
The statement came after some social media users complained about de Armas’ casting due to her “strong” Cuban accent, which is not how Monroe sounded.
However, many also defended de Armas, pointing out that the accent is just a single element and should not be the only factor that makes or breaks the character, TMZ reported.
De Armas previously told The Times of London that she spent almost a year working on her Monroe accent before filming started.
“It took me nine months of dialect coaching, and practicing and some ADR sessions [to get the accent right]. It was a big torture, so exhausting. My brain was fried,” she said.
The fictional film is based on the 2000 novel of the same name by Joyce Carol Oates. It reimagines the life of the “Niagara” actress, from her childhood through her rise to stardom.
According to de Armas, she only had to audition for the role once for director Andrew Dominik to be convinced she was perfect for the part. But the actress said she still “had to audition for everyone else.”
“The producers. The money people. I always have people I needed to convince. But I knew I could do it. Playing Marilyn was groundbreaking,” the “Knives Out” star told Vanity Fair in 2020. “A Cuban playing Marilyn Monroe. 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 told Grazia that she had to go bald by wearing a bald cap to wear blonde wigs because Monroe went through different shades of blonde in her life, from golden to platinum. Her makeup also took three and a half hours daily, so it was “very exhausting.”
“I think I actually cried the first time I saw [the wigs] on. Probably because I was terrified,” de Armas said. “But I’m so proud.”
“Blonde” premieres on Netflix on Sept. 28.