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Amid Backlash, Marilyn Monroe's Estate Defends Ana De Armas’ Casting In Blonde

Ana de Armas smiling in the mirror as Marilyn Monroe in Blonde.
(Image credit: Netflix)

Andrew Dominik has said in the past that his new movie Blonde was likely to offend some people. When the new trailer of Blonde came out starring Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe, viewers found one particular reason to be offended after hearing noticeable traces of this Cuban-Spanish actress’s native accent. Despite the backlash, the official Marilyn Monroe Estate has come to defend the casting choice of de Armas in the Netflix film.

Because Blonde is a book adaptation of the historical fiction novel by author Joyce Carol Oates, this film was not authorized by Monroe’s estate. However, according to Variety, Marilyn Monroe Estate owner Marc Rosen felt like the trailer showed that Ana de Armas has got what it takes to play the blonde bombshell and cannot wait to see the new Netflix film. Said Rosen,

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 glamor, humanity and vulnerability. We can’t wait to see the film in its entirety!

TMZ reported that de Armas’ “still-there accent” can clearly be heard in the new trailer of Blonde. All of the 34-year-old's movies, like playing Bond girl Paloma in No Time to Die and her latest action movie The Gray Man, feature the actor using her natural voice. There has been a Twitter debate as some fans felt her inability to hide her accent is strange since the pressure of taking on an iconic real-life role as well as her performance being possibly Oscar-baited should have inspired more through vocal training.

On the other hand, there have been others who have defended the Blade Runner 2049 actor, as history has shown that not all performers have a perfect crossover with a different accent. The Gray Man star told The Times of London that she worked with a dialect coach for nine months and did ADR (automated dialogue replacement) sessions to get the accent right. So, you can’t say that she didn't make a serious effort. Plus, having a Cuban-Spanish actress be able to play a role like this can open up opportunities for other performers. 

Beyond Marilyn Monroe’s estate, Blonde’s author has praised Ana de Armas in the loosely-based biographical drama for capturing her character’s perspective so well.

According to TMZ, Blonde has been considered controversial for potentially exploiting the Some Like It Hot actor's life for shock value. Andrew Dominik has been  defensive about that, and has said that the deeper meaning of his film is showing the public and private self of this memorable star and how her childhood drama affected her. 

Blonde also received an NC-17 rating for “some sexual content,” which limits its promotions and access. 

Despite the backlash that Ana de Armas is receiving for her accent in Blonde, it's surely a relief for the production to know that Marilyn Monroe's estate does not find fault in the casting choice. This accent slip shouldn’t be too distracting if she can properly portray the reasons why we love Marilyn Monroe and the inner turmoil she faced in her life.

You can see Ana de Armas in Blonde on your Netflix subscription on September 28. 

Carly Levy
Carly Levy

Just your average South Floridian cinephile who believes the pen is mightier than the sword.