Ana de Armas has several notable movies on her resumé. The Cuban actor had a large role alongside Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford in Blade Runner 2049, a Golden Globe-nominated breakout performance in Knives Out, and a brief but intense part in the James Bond film No Time to Die. de Armas will add a signature role as Marilyn Monroe/Norma Jeane (purposely spelled with an extra E) in Blonde. Her Latin accent drew comparisons to Lady Gaga in House of Gucci even before Netflix released Blonde’s trailer. de Armas faced more backlash and criticism over her accent after the trailer dropped, but she doesn’t deserve any of it.
Ana de Armas faces backlash over Marilyn Monroe accent in ‘Blonde’
Netflix released the first trailer for Blonde on July 28, 2022, and fans started buzzing and commenting about de Armas’ accent soon after.
Some of the Cuban actor’s native accent slipped into her Marilyn Monroe portrayal, and it divided movie fans. Some fans replying to the trailer on Netflix’s tweet said de Armas’ accent distracted them, while others praised her transformation (via several challenging wigs and other makeup and costume elements).
de Armas’ Monroe accent divided fans, but one group defended her. Authentic Brands Group, which owns Monroe’s estate, defended her by saying, “Any actor that steps into that role knows they have big shoes to fill,” ABG president Marc Rosen said, per Variety. “Based on the trailer alone, it looks like Ana was a great casting choice as she captures Marilyn’s glamor, humanity, and vulnerability.”
The accent split fans and had ABG defending her, but de Armas doesn’t deserve criticism over her accent.
de Armas doesn’t deserve criticism for her ‘Blonde’ accent
Backlash over de Armas’ accent arrived soon after the official trailer, but she doesn’t deserve any of that criticism.
Director Andrew Dominik more or less hand-picked de Armas to star in his movie after trying to cast the role for a decade, per IndieWire. She won out over accomplished actors such as Jessica Chastain and Naomi Watts, IndieWire reports. de Armas’ transformation shocked Jamie Lee Curtis, whose father, Tony, starred with Monroe in Some Like it Hot. Based on who she won the part from and the endorsement of Curtis, de Armas clearly deserved the role.
Also, Blonde is not a truly biographical film; it’s not based on Monroe’s life story. Joyce Carol Oates’ novel about Monroe is the source material, and the movie extends its creative license further. Scenes, though based on reality, are meant to convey Monroe’s emotion, not factually depict every moment of her life. A tinge of a Latin accent in a preview isn’t enough to slam de Armas’ portrayal. Based on the trailer, she isn’t even close to having one of the worst movie accents we’ll ever hear.
Plus, as de Armas told Netflix Queue, she worked on the movie for a solid year — researching Monroe, studying photos and videos to nail mannerisms, shooting it — and spent hours in the makeup chair each day. Calling out her accent in effect negates all the intense hard work de Armas did to become Monroe.
Finally, all we have to go on right now is a two-minute trailer. Blonde’s running time is reportedly 2 hours, 45 minutes. The trailer’s length is roughly 1% of the film. No one has enough information about the movie or de Armas’ Monroe portrayal to make a final judgment.
She will receive an award when the movie screens at the Deauville Film Festival
de Armas’ doesn’t deserve backlash over her Blonde accent, especially since we haven’t seen the finished product. Time will tell if she earns her first Academy Awards nomination for her work, but she’ll receive a big honor at France’s Deauville Film Festival.
Festival organizers will present her with the Hollywood Rising-Star Award when Blonde screens at the festival. de Armas will join elite company with the award. Past winners include Chastain, Gosling, Elizabeth Olson, Robert Pattinson, Daniel Radcliffe, and Elle Fanning.
Blonde comes to Netflix on Sept. 28, 2022.
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