Los Angeles: Marilyn Monroe’s official representation has come to the rescue of Ana de Armas, who plays the Hollywood icon in Andrew Dominic’s upcoming drama Blonde.
The film’s official trailer, which premiered on July 28, sparked outrage among many viewers about de Armas’s role as his accent didn’t quite match Monroe’s iconic vocals. The film has not been approved by Monroe’s estate, but the group still supports de Armas’ casting, Variety reports.
“Marilyn Monroe is a unique Hollywood and pop culture icon that spans generations and history,” said Mark Rosen, president of entertainment at Authentic Brands Group (ABG), which owns the Marilyn Monroe estate.
“Any actor who steps into this role knows they have huge responsibilities. Based on the trailer alone, it looks like Anna was a great choice for the role, as she conveys Marilyn’s glamour, humanity, and vulnerability. We can’t wait to see the full movie!”
De Armas previously told The Times of London that he spent almost a year working on his Monroe accent for “Blonde” before filming began.
“It took me nine months of speech training, practice and a few ADR sessions (to get the pronunciation right). It was a huge torture, so exhausting. My brain is fried,” the actor said.
Blonde Joyce is based on the novel by Carol Oates. The play redefines the life of Monroe, from her childhood to her rise to fame as Norma Jean. The supporting cast includes Bobby Cannavale, Adrien Brody, Julian Nicholson, Xavier Samuel and Evan Williams. The film will debut in competition at the Venice Film Festival.
Most complaints about de Armas’ casting noted that it retained his Cuban accent, while Monroe’s voice was distinct. De Armas told Vanity Fair in 2020 that Dominic’s decision to make the Cuban actor an American icon was “unprecedented”.
“I only had to audition for Marilyn once, and Andrew said, ‘It’s you,’ but I had to audition for everyone else,” de Armas told the magazine.
“Producers. People with money. I always have people I need to convince. But I knew I could do it. Marilyn’s performance was innovative. Cuban in the role of Marilyn Monroe. I bad it Wanted. You see the famous picture of her and she’s smiling at the moment, but that’s just part of what she was really going through at the time.”
Blondes will hit Netflix on September 28.
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