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Brad Pitt has nothing but praise for Ana de Armas.
Armas, 34, portrays Marilyn Monroe in Netflix’s “Blonde,” which debuts on Sept. 23. After the actress received backlash for the role, Pitt, 58, defended her.
“She is phenomenal in it,” Pitt said in an interview with “Entertainment Tonight.” “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.”
Pitt’s production company, Plan B, is producing the Netflix film.
Armas announced she was taking on the role in March 2019 and was immediately faced with criticism by viewers claiming a Cuban actress should not be portraying Monroe. Some fans even claimed her “heavy accent” stopped her from sounding like Monroe.
“Am I the only one not surprised that Ana De Armas sounds bad in the Blonde trailer?” a social media user tweeted. “Her accent is very heavy, it was going to take a lot for her to convincingly sound like Marilyn.”
The “Deep Water” star told The Sunday Times in 2021 that it took her nine months to learn how to speak like Monroe.
“It only took me nine months of dialect coaching, and practicing, and some ADR sessions,” she said at the time. “It was a big torture, so exhausting. My brain was fried.”
The film is based on the book “Blonde” by Joyce Carol Oates that was published in 2000. The book dove into the highs and lows of the American icon’s personal and professional life.
Armas looks identical to the late star in the “Blonde” trailer released in late July. Monroe’s estate is in full support of Armas taking on the role of the pop icon and issued a statement on Tuesday.
“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,” estate representatives told Variety.
“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!”
The “Gray Man” star is equally as thrilled to take on the coveted role.
“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,” Armas told Netflix Queue in June.
“The first question was always, ‘What was Norma Jean 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” also stars Adrien Brody, Xavier Samuel, Julianne Nicholson, Lily Fisher, Evan Williams, Toby Huss, David Warshofsky, Caspar Phillipson, Dan Butler, Sara Paxton and Rebecca Wisock.
The film is expected to debut at the Venice Film Festival before moving over to the streaming service.