If we’ve learned anything over the past few months, it’s that, even 60 years after her death, Americans are still extremely protective over Marilyn Monroe. The conversation over Kim Kardashian’s Met Gala dress rages on (Bob Mackie commented on it again just two weeks ago), and now, the Monroe-obsessed masses have turned their attention to Ana de Armas in the trailer for the upcoming film, Blonde. After much delay and controversy over the graphic nature of the film, Blonde will hit Netflix with an NC-17 rating on September 28th, but now that we’ve gotten our first look of de Armas as Monroe, fans are picking apart the performance, specifically de Armas’ accent.
Monroe is known for her slow, breathy tone, and while some of that comes through in de Armas’s portrayal, so does a bit of her Cuban accent. The actress was born in Cuba and moved to Spain when she was 18, before heading to the States at 26. De Armas previously told The Times of London she took nine months of dialect coaching to prepare for the Monroe role. “It was a big torture, so exhausting,” she said. “My brain was fried.” Still, her native accent peaks through, and some took to Twitter following the release of the trailer to voice their (mostly negative) opinions about de Armas’ accent. Now, though, the official Marilyn Monroe Estate is speaking out in support of the actress.
The estate is not involved in the film, which is based off a fictionalized version of Monroe’s life, but they still gave a statement to Variety about their thoughts on de Armas’ casting. “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 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!”
Will this quiet the accent comments? Likely not, but hopefully it will at least hold them over until the next trailer comes out.