Marilyn Monroe Estate defends Ana de Armas casting following ‘Blonde’ backlash

"She captures Marilyn’s glamour, humanity, and vulnerability"

Marilyn Monroe’s estate has defended the casting of Ana de Armas for the upcoming biopic Blonde, following complaints that the actress doesn’t sound like the Hollywood icon.

The Netflix film will see de Armas star as the titular blonde bombshell who rose to fame as a comedic actress, singer and sex symbol in the 1950s.

Following the release of the first full-length trailer, questions have been raised about de Armas’s Cuban accent and how it has affected her portrayal of Monroe. However, Monroe’s official estate has stood by the casting.

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

“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!”

Director Andrew Dominik chose de Armas for the role after almost a decade of trying to cast the lead role. According to reports, Jessica Chastain and Naomi Watts were previously lined up for the project, which has been in development since 2010.

Ana de Armas Marilyn Monroe
Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe in ‘Blonde’ CREDIT: Netflix

Following her casting in 2019, de Armas said: “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.”

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Also starring as real-life figures in Monroe’s life are Adrien Brody, Bobby Cannavale and Julianne Nicholson.

Based on the novel by Joyce Carol Oates, Blonde promises to offer a closer look at “​​a life both known and unknown… explor[ing] the complicated life” of the Hollywood icon.

The official synopsis reads: “From [Monroe’s] volatile childhood as Norma Jeane, through to her rise to stardom and romantic entanglements, Blonde blurs the lines of fact and fiction to explore the widening split between her public and private selves.”

Blonde arrives on Netflix on September 23.

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