Actor Gets Big Defenders After Criticism on Monroe Role

Some aren't buying Ana de Armas as Marilyn, but late icon's estate, Brad Pitt are all in
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2022 8:01 AM CDT

A trailer was released last week for Blonde, Netflix's upcoming biopic on Marilyn Monroe, and not everyone was buying the sneak-peek performance of Ana de Armas in the lead role, with criticism especially directed at the fact that the Cuban-Spanish actress's accent doesn't especially sound like the breathier Monroe, per Rolling Stone. Now, however, the estate for the late Hollywood icon, which didn't officially authorize the flick, is defending Armas' interpretation in the film, based on a novel by Joyce Carol Oates and directed by Andrew Dominik.

"Any actor that steps into that role knows they have big shoes to fill," Marc Rosen, president of entertainment at Authentic Brands Group, which runs Monroe's estate, tells Variety in a statement. "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!" In a 2021 interview with the Times of London, de Armas described the "exhausting" process she underwent to get Monroe's voice down. "It only took me nine months of dialect coaching, and practicing," she said. "It was a big torture ... My brain was fried."

One big name in particular has nothing but praise for de Armas. "She is phenomenal" in the movie, Brad Pitt, one of the film's producers, tells Entertainment Tonight. "That's a tough dress to fill." Pitt adds that the movie was a decadelong project by his friend Dominik that only came together after de Armas was recruited for the title role. Blonde, which also stars Adrien Brody, Bobby Cannavale, and Julianne Nicholson, will debut at the Venice Film Festival before streaming on Netflix on Sept. 28. (Read more Marilyn Monroe stories.)

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