Who is the “Lady in Santiago” that James Bond is supposed to meet in “No Time To Die”? Her name is Ana de Armas, comes from Cuba and has already secured a permanent place on the casting lists and in the gossip press in Hollywood.
That doesn’t happen every day: the phone rings and on the other end is the director of the new James Bond movie. “It was really crazy,” Ana de Armas recalls of her first conversation with Cary Fukunaga. “Because my role wasn’t in the script, but he said that part of the film was set in Cuba and that he wanted to write a role for me.”
The Cuban actress was flattered. “But I also told him I wanted to read what I had to do first before I accept.”
No matter how high the honor of joining the long list of unforgettable Bond companions, the 33-year-old is very careful not to play clichéd Latinas. That’s why she almost turned down the role in the crime comedy “Knives Out”. De Armas plays the patriarch’s nurse, who knows more about his death than she suggests.
“Often we are supposed to play thieves, prostitutes or the sexy nurse, but Marta represents a different side of our culture”, she was then convinced. “Knives Out” also gave her the opportunity to work for the first time with Daniel Craig, who plays the inspector in the film. This familiarity later helped her to be relatively relaxed at his side on “No Time To Die”. She describes the 007 actor as her mentor and relentless: “No matter how exhausted he is and or how many bones he has broken, he comes on set and works until he drops.”
«I wanted more»
Ana de Armas could also be described as relentless and unstoppable: just a few years ago, she hardly spoke any English. Born in modest circumstances in Santa Cruz del Norte, Cuba, she played scenes that she had seen on television in front of the mirror as a child: “We didn’t have a DVD or VHS player, but the neighbor did. There I saw the film ‘Mathilda’. Then I went home and acted out the whole film for my brother. ”
Soon she went to the theater school in Havana and dreamed of a career in Cuba, because Hollywood stars like Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts seemed to live far away in another galaxy. Unlike many of her compatriots, her family had no relatives or friends in nearby Miami.
But since her maternal grandparents come from Spain, she has a Spanish passport and was able to travel to Europe when she was eighteen: “I wanted more opportunities. Spain was my only option. ” It went pretty well for eight years. She played in the school series “El Internado” and in the history series “Hispania, la leyenda”. But she got no further as a film actress.
So the ambitious packed her bags again. She separated from actor Marc Clotet, with whom she was married for two years, and tried her luck in Hollywood from 2013.
Breakthrough with “Blade Runner 2049”
She learned the first English dialogues in indie films phonetically. “Even on the press tour for ‘Blade Runner 2049’, my English was not up to par”, de Armas looks back with a laugh.
“What I did in Spain and Cuba didn’t matter much. I had to start all over again. ” At the first casting of “Blade Runner 2049” she was given a scene from “Ex Machina” to perform, at the second audition she still didn’t know what the relationship between Joe and Ryan Gosling was. At the third audition, she was told she had a nude scene and had to cut her hair and dye it dark. ÒÀÜI said I donòÀt care about the nude scene, but about the hair? Can we discuss that? “
Since then, things have been going on in rapid succession. Only a pandemic was able to prevent her name from being on everyone’s lips for a long time. Both the Marilyn Monroe biography “Blonde” (“I spent a year preparing for the role and the accent”) and the Patricia Highsmith crime thriller “Deep Water” with Ben Affleck have been postponed to 2022.
While cinema fans are waiting for “Deep Water”, Ana de Armas has fallen in love with Ben Affleck and has already separated from him again. Last but not least, the two are said to have had geographical problems: Affleck lives in Los Angeles because of the children, Ana de Armas is spoiled for the city.
“Most of my friends in LA are not from LA, and I often don’t film in town at all. We’ll see I want to explore other places. But as soon as I decide to move, something will happen and I’ll stay. “
In the meantime a new love has happened. According to the relevant press, Ana de Armas is now dating Paul Boukadakis, the vice president of the dating app Tinder. Its professional headquarters are in Austin, Texas.
Wherever she may go in the near future, she’s homesick for Cuba, where her family lives, one way or another. She is following the situation in her home country with great interest: “Cuba is changing, but a lot remains the same”, says de Armas, who travels back and forth with full suitcases.
“The government is the same, not being able to find out about the world is still the same. There are Wi-Fi spots and you can go online, but it’s all very limited. However, a lot is happening with the boys. I don’t want to miss that. “