Havana-born Cuban-Spanish actress Ana de Armas is carving out a place for herself in the Hollywood sun. After making his debut in Cuba and Madrid and leaving his mark with sexy and muscular appearances in Blade Runner 2049 (2017) and in no time to die (2021), the 34-year-old actress is now one of the most sought-after names on the small and big screen. Here’s a rundown of everything you need to know about the heroine of Netflix’s next blockbuster The gray manand the highly anticipated and sultry biopic of the platform Blond on Marilyn Monroe.
Ana de Armas at the screening of “The Gray Man” in London on July 19, 2022. @ Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty Images
1. A childhood far from Hollywood glitz
Born in Havana, Cuba, Ana Celia de Armas Caso lived a childhood miles away from Hollywood glitz and glamor. Unlike many promising actors and actresses, who have stars for parents, cinema did not flow through her veins. Her father, who studied philosophy at a Soviet university, was successively a teacher, bank manager, school principal and deputy mayor, while her mother worked in human resources at the Ministry of Education. As a child, Ana de Armas lived for many years with her grandparents in Havana, while her parents and brother lived in the seaside town of Santa Cruz del Norte and only visited her once a week.
Due to the Cuban economic crisis of the 1990s, better known as the “special period in peacetime”, following the collapse of the USSR and the end of commercial support from the socialist bloc, his spartan but happy childhood was marked by food rationing and power cuts, which could last up to 4 p.m. She remembers her childhood in Havana in men’s diary: “I grew up in nature, at the beach and playing in the streets with friends. I felt very free. I go wild and come home to dinner and watch cartoons.”
As a teenager, Ana de Armas did not have access to the Internet, DVD player or knowledge of international (pop) culture. She could only watch cartoons for a few minutes on Saturdays and a movie on Sunday mornings. She makes up for it by going to see American feature films at her neighbor’s house, in which she discovers Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks. Fascinated by these glamorous cinematographic works full of action and romance, she learned the dialogues by heart and re-enacted the scenes in front of her mirror. A vocation was born. At just 12, the doll-faced little girl knew she wanted to be an actress.
Ana de Armas in “No time to die” (2021)
2. An (inconclusive) acting career in Cuba and Madrid
At the age of 14, Ana de Armas hitchhiked to attend classes at the National Theater of Cuba. She was already shooting in films when she was a student, before flying to Madrid four years later with 200 euros in her pocket. His first feature films and series ended up in the dustbin of history, even though they earned him a certain notoriety in Spain. She appeared in the sappy drama A rose from France (2006), in the teen show El Internado (2007–2010) set in a Spanish boarding school and coming-of-age comedy Sex, party and lies (2009).
After a trip to New York to try to learn EnglishAna de Armas explored new genres with the drama and historical series Hispania, the leyenda (2010 and 2011) and a handful of horror films, such as Anabel (2015). At that time, she doubted the future of her career, took part in plays with a theater company in Madrid, ended up finding a Hollywood agent and moved to Los Angeles. Although Shakespeare’s language wasn’t her cup of tea, she landed her first role in an American production in Eli Roth’s erotic horror thriller. Knock Knock (2015) – she plays alongside Keanu Reeves, who then becomes her first guardian angel in the United States. This sultry sensation will reappear later in his game with the (bad) erotic thriller deep waters with Ben Affleck, his partner at the time.
Ana de Armas in “Blonde” (2022)
3. An explosive rise in Hollywood
While Ana de Armas initially learned her lines phonetically and worked with a diction coach for a yearshe is primarily known as the romantic and sexy fatal Woman or devoted wife in Hollywood. Despite his radiance and his charisma, good roles do not come easily to him at first. Still, the Cuban-Spanish actress is determined not to let herself be locked into stereotypical roles promoting the Latin woman-object bombshell. Thanks to Denis Villeneuve’s futuristic metaphysical thriller Blade Runner 2049 (2017), the actress shone for the first time in a supporting role as Ryan Gosling’s girlfriend, Joi. Even if Joi is just a simple hologram born from artificial intelligence, Ana de Armas brings a very carnal and magnetic dimension to her character.
Nothing stops the actress, who dreams of a career like that of Cate Blanchett, Kate Winslet, Meryl Streep or Penélope Cruz. She has amply proven her depth with her role as an immigrant nurse in Knives out (2019) starring Daniel Craig and unveiled a captivating charm in Olivier Assayas’ spy thriller network of wasps (2019). But it’s as a James Bond girl in no time to die that she really broke through. Dressed in a low-cut evening dress, she plays Paloma, a secret CIA agent whose stunts have nothing to envy to those of her male counterparts. His intensive training for this blockbuster will serve him well for his next athletic and badass role in Netflix’s next big budget production. The gray manwith Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans.
Now all eyes are on the actress, who landed the lead role of Marilyn Monroe in the biopic Blond. Based on the best-selling book of the same name by Joyce Carol Oates, the film is already controversial due to its shocking sex scenes. We will have to wait until September 28e2022, to find out if the new Hollywood pin-up managed to capture the essence of the sublime and innocent icon of the 1950s, despite the lack of obvious resemblance between the two actresses.
The gray man (2022) by Mark Greaney and Joe Russo, available on Netflix. Blond by Andrew Dominik, available September 28e2022.