Blonde director Andrew Dominick loves how Ana de Armas played Marilyn Monroe in his new film Blonde. But he’s glad online critics had their chance to criticize and conjecture about her voice.
“I think the whole accent thing is a little bit of a storm to teacup,” Dominick tells MovieMaker in our latest issue, on newsstands soon. “I think if you want to hear an accent, you can. It’s kind of up to the beholder.”
Ana de Armas notes in the issue that Marilyn Monroe didn’t have one voice: “She didn’t have one accent. Marilyn’s voices, affectations, were changing throughout her life. Part of her insecurities took her to have multiple voice coaches. She wanted to sound more sophisticated, she wanted to sound smarter, she wanted to sound all of that, because she had no education. She felt less-than,” she told MovieMaker.
When Netflix dropped the trailer for Blonde in August, there was so much griping by viewers who thought they heard traces of de Armas’ Cuban accent that the Marilyn Monroe estate actually came to her defense. But Dominick isn’t mad. In fact, he says, the Twitter critiques were actually “a good way to rip the Band-aid off,” ensuring that “by the time people see the movie, they’re sort of prepared for that and they’ll forget about it.”
He found de Armas’ Monroe voice just right for the film.
“I could have made it 100% perfect — and in fact, I did — and I didn’t care as much when I watched the film. It’s sort of a balance. I want to get to the point where I’m not thinking about it without destroying her performance, because her performance is amazing,” he says.
He also observes that Marilyn Monroe’s public image doesn’t match up exactly with who she really was in private, especially in her final interview, recorded just days before her death on August 4, 1962.
“That baby, breathy voice is not what she walked around speaking. And if you hear the tape of her interview with Richard Meryman, it’s shrill as fuck, you know? Like, she had a completely different self, and that’s the self we’re dealing with most of the time,” Dominick says.
Blonde arrives on Netflix on Sept. 28.
Our full cover story interview with Dominick and de Armas will run in the Fall 2022 print issue of MovieMaker Magazine.
Main Image: Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe in Blonde, courtesy of Netflix.