Marilyn Monroe’s estate backs Ana de Armas’ casting amid outrage over her accent

WION Web Team
Washington, D.C., USAUpdated: Aug 02, 2022, 05:14 PM IST


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Marilyn Monroe has come out in support of Ana de Armas, who has been receiving backlash over her Cuban accent and casting in Andrew Dominik and Netflix’s upcoming drama ‘Blonde’.

Ana de Armas’ who is essaying the role of Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe in Andrew Dominik and Netflix’s upcoming drama ‘Blonde’, has been caught up in controversy for her Cuban accent and her casting as the late star. Several viewers expressed their outrage over Armas' casting because her accent did not entirely match Monroe's iconic breathy tone. Now, the official estate of Marilyn Monroe has come out to defend Armas. Though ‘Blonde’ is not authorised by Monroe’s estate, the group stands by de Armas’ casting nonetheless, reported Variety. 

“Marilyn Monroe is a singular Hollywood and pop culture icon that transcends generations and history,” said Marc Rosen, president of entertainment at Authentic Brands Group (ABG), which owns the Marilyn Monroe Estate.

“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!” he added.

Most of the complaints about de Armas’ casting noted that she maintained her Cuban accent, which is not how Monroe sounded. It is to be noted that, ‘Blonde’ is not a biopic of Monroe but a fictionalised portrait and that the film was not completed with the cooperation of Monroe’s estate. 

After a decade’s attempt, director Dominik selected Armas for the lead part in ‘Blonde’. The movie, which has been in development since 2010, reportedly had Jessica Chastain and Naomi Watts attached to its name, and in 2019, de Armas was selected.

Dominik previously revealed that after just one audition, he was certain that Cuban actress de Armas would be “the one” to play Monroe. Later, De Armas admitted to Vanity Fair that the chance to portray the legendary actress was a challenge. 

In 2020, De Armas told an entertainment magazine 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.”

She continued, “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.”

‘Blonde’ is based on the novel by Joyce Carol Oates. The drama reimagines the life of Monroe, from her volatile childhood as Norma Jeane through 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 and later release globally on September 28, as per Variety.

Armas has received dialect training for nine months to perfect Monroe’s signature movie. “It was a big torture, so exhausting. My brain was fried,” she added. Meanwhile, Dominik had also labelled de Armas as “fucking amazing” as Monroe, adding, “The one thing nobody’s going to complain about is [de Armas’] performance.”

(With agency inputs)