Brad Pitt has nothing but praise for Ana de Armas’ performance as Marilyn Monroe in Andrew Dominik’s upcoming drama “Blonde.” The Oscar winner produced the movie through his Plan B production banner after starring in Dominik’s directorial efforts “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” and “Killing Them Softly.”
“She is phenomenal in it,” Pitt told Entertainment Tonight about de Armas’ turn as Monroe. “That’s a tough dress to fill. It was 10 years in the making. It wasn’t until we found Ana that we could get it across the finish line.”
De Armas’ casting as Marilyn Monroe has come under fire in the days since Netflix debuted an official trailer for “Blonde” at the end of July. The “Knives Out” and “Blade Runner 2049” actor is Cuban, which has left some viewers outraged over how she was cast as an American icon. De Armas’ accent in the “Blonde” trailer doesn’t entirely match Monroe’s iconic breathy tone. Viewers have complained that de Armas still has her Cuban accent in the role, which is not how Monroe sounded.
Despite uproar over de Armas’ casting, the official Marilyn Monroe Estate has expressed support for the actor. The film is not authorized by Monroe’s estate, but the group said in an exclusive statement to Variety: “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!”
“Blonde” is based on the novel by Joyce Carol Oates and co-stars Bobby Cannavale, Adrien Brody, Julianne Nicholson, Xavier Samuel and Evan Williams.
“We worked on this film for hours, every single day for almost a year,” de Armas told Netflix Queue earlier this year about the film. “I read Joyce’s novel, studied hundreds of photographs, videos, audio recordings, films — anything I could get my hands on. Every scene is inspired by an existing photograph. We’d pore over every detail in the photo and debate what was happening in it. The first question was always, ‘What was Norma Jeane feeling here?’ We wanted to tell the human side of her story. Fame is what made Marilyn the most visible person in the world, but it also made Norma the most invisible.”
“Blonde” is set to world premiere in competition at the Venice Film Festival before streaming on Netflix beginning Sept. 28.