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Ana de Armas defends her Marilyn Monroe voice in ‘Blonde’

“My job wasn’t to imitate her,” she said about her upcoming role in the Netflix biographical drama.
Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe in "Blonde."
Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe in "Blonde."Netflix
/ Source: TODAY

With the premiere of “Blonde” just weeks away, Ana de Armas is preparing fans for her version of Hollywood and cultural icon Marilyn Monroe.

In an interview with French fashion magazine L’Officiel published on Wednesday, the Cuban actor said that viewers should not expect an imitation of the “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” star.

The first trailer of the biographical drama, released in June, showed de Armas donning a blond wig and speaking in an accent that did not directly impersonate Monroe’s voice.

After working with a dialect coach for months and learning about the icon’s life, de Armas told L’Officiel that she realized “my job wasn’t to imitate her.” 

Instead, de Armas wanted her portrayal to focus more on the person behind the fame. 

“I was interested in her feelings, her journey, her insecurities, and her voice, in the sense that she didn’t really have one,” the 34-year-old actor explained. 

“Blonde,” which also stars Adrien Brody and Bobby Cannavale, is based on the novel of the same name by author Joyce Carol Oates. The story depicts a reimagining of Monroe, also known as Norma Jeane Baker, and her life in front of and behind the cameras. 

The film premieres on Netflix on Sept. 23 and will arrive with a NC-17 label.

When speaking about the risqué rating, the “Knives Out” star said, “I didn’t understand why that happened.”

She added, “I can tell you a number of shows or movies that are way more explicit with a lot more sexual content than 'Blonde.' But to tell this story it is important to show all these moments in Marilyn’s life that made her end up the way that she did.”

Bobby Cannavale as The Ex-Athlete and Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe.
Bobby Cannavale as The Ex-Athlete and Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe. 2022 © Netflix / Netflix

Although the content might be explicit, de Armas said all of the scenes are crucial to the story. 

“It needed to be explained,” she shared. “Everyone (in the cast) knew we had to go to uncomfortable places. I wasn’t the only one.” 

Based on the official teaser, “Blonde” will feature recreations of moments from Monroe’s most unforgettable films like “Seven Year Itch.” 

Throughout the trailer, “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” from “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” plays in the background. 

According to the movie’s description on Netflix’s press site, the drama “blurs the lines of fact and fiction to explore the widening split between her public and private selves.” 

Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe in "Blonde."
Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe in "Blonde."Netflix

After the trailer for “Blonde” was shared on social media, fans pointed out that de Armas did not exactly match Monroe’s voice.

In a statement sent to Variety, Monroe’s official estate defended de Armas’ interpretation. 

Marc Rosen, who is president of entertainment at Authentic Brands Group (ABG) — which owns the Marilyn Monroe Estate — said, “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.”

He continued, “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!”