Ana de Armas says it took nine months to perfect Marilyn Monroe’s voice for new film Blonde: ‘It was torture’

Monroe was famous for her breathy delivery

Ellie Harrison
Monday 25 January 2021 09:06
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Marilyn Monroe: A life in film

Ana de Armas has revealed she spent nine months learning how to speak like Marilyn Monroe for her new film, Blonde.

The Knives Out star stars in the Monroe biopic, which is based on the Joyce Carol Oates novel of the same name.  

Actor, singer and model Monroe was famous for her breathy voice, which came about as a result of a tactic she used to overcome a childhood stutter after a speech therapist reportedly trained her to adopt the throaty style.

On whether she nailed the voice, de Armas told The Sunday Times: “I tried! It only took me nine months of dialect coaching, and practising, and some ADR sessions [rerecording dialogue after filming]. It was a big torture, so exhausting. My brain was fried.”  

De Armas also found playing the performer draining in a more general sense: “I had a lot of thoughts as a woman in the industry, and even in general, about how things from the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s are so relatable to nowadays. And how if you don’t have a strong base, with your family and so on, it’s really hard to make it through – really hard.”

The Cuban actor shot to fame as the nurse in the 2019 murder mystery Knives Out alongside Daniel Craig.

She has forthcoming roles in the Bond film No Time to Die and Deep Water, based on the Patricia Highsmith novel.

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