AceShowbiz - Ana de Armas has found support in the official Marilyn Monroe estate amid criticism over her accent in "Blonde". Marc Rosen, president of entertainment at Authentic Brands Group (ABG), which owns the Marilyn Monroe estate, has defended the actress' casting in the movie after many fans were left outraged because de Armas' accent in the trailer didn't match Monroe's iconic breathy tone.
"Blonde" is not authorized by Monroe's estate. Nevertheless, Rosen has come to de Armas' defense in a statement to Variety. "Marilyn Monroe is a singular Hollywood and pop culture icon that transcends generations and history," said Rosen. "Any actor that steps into that role knows they have big shoes to fill."
He went on praising the "Knives Out" star's portrayal of the late actress, "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 backlash arose following the release of the "Blonde" trailer. Many pointed out that de Armas still maintained her Cuban accent, which is not how Monroe sounded. In 2020, de Armas admitted to Vanity Fair that director Andrew 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," she told the magazine. "The producers. The money people. I always have people I needed 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 is smiling in the moment, but that’s just a slice of what she was really going through at the time."
Of preparing herself for the role, de Armas told The Times of London that she spent an entire 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 shared.
"Blonde" is actually not a straight biopic. Based on the novel by Joyce Carol Oates, it is a fictionalized account of the screen legend that reimagines the life of Monroe, from her volatile childhood as Norma Jeane through her rise to stardom. Also starring Bobby Cannavale, Adrien Brody, Julianne Nicholson, Xavier Samuel and Evan Williams, it will debut in competition at the Venice Film Festival before being released on Netflix on September 28.