Marilyn Monroe Estate Defends Ana de Armas’ Casting in Biopic Blonde

There are some people on social media who have been critical of Ana de Armas’ casting as Hollywood legend Marilyn Monroe in the upcoming biopic Blonde, but Monroe’s estate doesn’t want to hear it. Based on the book by Joyce Carol Oates and directed by Andrew Dominik, Blonde recently had an official trailer released presenting a sneak peek at the de Armas portraying the famous actress. Some viewers criticized the accent de Armas uses for Monroe while others have questioned the casting of a Cuban actress.

Monroe’s estate did not have any direct involvement with the movie, but even so, they seem pretty happy with what de Armas brings to the role. Per Variety, Marilyn Monroe Estate owner Marc Rosen, president of entertainment at Authentic Brands Group, offered a statement in response to the controversy over de Armas playing Marilyn Monroe in Blonde. Rosen praises the casting based on what we saw in the trailer and recognizes that de Armas has “big shoes to fill” with playing such a beloved icon.

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“Marilyn Monroe is a singular Hollywood and pop culture icon that transcends generations and history. 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!”

Ana de Armas Previously Addressed the Casting Controversy

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Ana de Armas has also touched on social media complaints that she should not have been cast in the role of Marilyn Monroe, given her nationality. Speaking about the situation with Elle, de Armas said she was looking to break free from stereotypical roles and wanted to take on something challenging. She had hoped that her performance would help show that people can do anything if they put forth the effort.

“I do want to play Latina. But I don’t want to put a basket of fruit on my head every single time. So that’s my hope, that I can show that we can do anything if we’re given the time to prepare, and if we’re given just the chance, just the chance. You can do any film — Blonde — you can do anything.”

For director Andrew Dominik, it was pretty clear from the start of production that de Armas was his Marilyn Monroe. But it was apparently not such an easy sell for many of the other decision-makers involved with the biopic. Addressing her casting back in 2020 in a Vanity Fair interview, de Armas explained how Dominik quickly called for her casting but that it still took some extra auditions and convincing to get the film’s producers on board.

“I only had to audition for Marilyn once and Andrew said ‘It’s you,’ but I had to audition for everyone else. 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.”

Blonde is rated NC-17 and will be released on Sept. 26, 2022, on Netflix.