Spain has a hard time taking itself seriously. Whether due to an inferiority complex, self-pity, or the joke, Spaniards seem to feel more comfortable with the anecdote that Ana Obregón made Steven Spielberg a paella than with Penélope Cruz winning an Oscar. So the news that Ana de Armas (who was born in Cuba, took off as an actress living in our country and has dual nationality, Cuban and Spanish), whom the public had lost track of since the series Hispania in 2011 I was doing castings in Hollywood they were received with the same derision that Elsa Pataky, Paz Vega or Lorena Bernal’s move to Hollywood had previously been treated with. But the American media is already celebrating Ana de Armas as her next superstar and now the only one laughing is her.
Ana de Armas is not the first actress who, apparently overnight, begins to be everywhere. Colin Farrell, Brendan Fraser or Armie Hammer benefited from equally studied image campaigns, but not as explosive. The critic has highlighted her as the MVP (“most valuable player”, that is, number one) of Daggers in the back, a mystery comedy where Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Daniel Craig or Toni Collette are also suspected of murder. She will play Marilyn Monroe in Blonde, he biopic from Netflix based on the novel by Joyce Carol Oates. Will be the next Bond girl in No time to die, will star alongside Ben Affleck in the adaptation of Patricia Highsmith Deep water (the return to the cinema of Adrian Lyne, director of Fatal Attraction, after almost two decades) and has been a finalist for the role of Catwoman, which will finally be done by Zoë Kravitz, in The Batman.
It is unusual for the finalist’s name to be leaked to a casting: If we have found out that Ana de Armas was a strong candidate for the role, it is because someone wants us to find out. Similarly, when they removed their character from Yesterday (she played the girl who was hindering the film’s central love story) the reasons could not leave her better: during the test passes, the public fell in love with Ana de Armas so much that they wanted the protagonist to finish her and not the co-star. Is this drive due to strategy, luck, or talent? Probably all three, but above all Ana de Armas is an example that it is not enough to be in the right place at the right time, you also have to know when to leave.
In the house in Santa Cruz Del Norte (Cuba), where he was born in 1988, there was no video player, but when Ana de Armas saw the movie Matilda at his neighbor’s house he ran to recreate it for his brother. After meeting at a birthday party with the daughters of Cuban actor Jorge Perugorría, he learned that Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón was making a casting in Havana for A rose from France. The director interrupted her in the middle of her test to inform her that the role was hers. During filming, De Armas met a Spanish representative who proposed that he move to Madrid. “In Cuba you grow up thinking that what you have is everything you need and that you should be satisfied with that, but I was always very curious and, why not say it, ambitious. We had no friends or relatives in Miami, Spain was my only option to leave Cuba “, would remember the actress in The vanguard.
So when it was time to promote A rose from France In Spain in 2006, De Armas, at 18 years old, took out his red passport from the drawer (which he had thanks to the fact that his grandparents are from Valverde, in León, and from Guardo, in Palencia) and moved to Madrid without finishing his training in the National School of Art of Cuba: if he graduated he would have to spend several years rendering compulsory social services. She thought that all her savings (200 euros) would give her something in Madrid, but she ended up spending them on ice creams and donuts (in Cuba she did not have access to them), staying at a friend’s friend’s house and introducing herself to everyone. castings that I could. The first was, a week after landing, for the series. The intership.
Television actors benefit from the closeness the audience feels towards them, having received them in their living room once a week for years, but afterwards that familiarity works against them. There is no classic play that separates Fran Perea from Marcos Serrano and 1 + 1 is 7, Blanca Suárez has filmed with Almodóvar, with De la Iglesia and with Cuerda but the media continue to treat her as a influencer, And every time Mario Casas proves to be an actor of character, everyone seems surprised as if it were a revelation.
In Spain Ana de Armas was always treated as a celebrity and she, after asking to kill her character from The intership In order to make movies, he ended up getting bored of being offered only sexy teenage roles. In the midst of the economic crisis, Ana de Armas took advantage of the end of her two-year marriage with Marc Clotet, sold all her furniture and went to Los Angeles to study English. There she would once again be, in her own words, a “nobody” whose main concern was learning to distinguish past and present verb tenses in classes of six hours a day.
Venezuelan director Jonathan Jakubowicz saw a chapter of The intership on television during a vacation in Spain and insisted on locating De Armas to give him the role of the wife of the Panamanian boxer Roberto Durán in his biopic, Stone hands, along with Edgar Ramírez and Robert de Niro.
On the way to the airport to fly to Panama, Ana de Armas was approached by a producer who wanted to “urgently” introduce Eli Roth, who gave him a role in the sexythriller psychological Knock Knock with Keanu Reeves. Reeves became so close to the actress that he offered to participate in his next film, The daughter of god. And that’s when he was signed by CAA (Creative Artists Agency, the most important representation agency in Hollywood) and started working with publicist Anett Wolf, who also manages the public image of Cate Blanchett, the Olsen twins or Cindy Crawford.
De Armas spent his meetings nodding without understanding a word of what they were saying, but he was very clear about what he did not want: “I do not want to do castings for the Juanas and the Marías. I want to do the same castings than the other actresses ”. “I want to grow and I want to evolve and I want to have heavier characters. I have a very good team of agents and lawyers and I must respond with a job at the same level. If you’re not like that, they don’t work with you there, ”he explained in ICON in a report in which, in a visionary way, he posed emulating Marilyn Monroe.
The directors of casting They told her that they would call her again in a couple of years, when she could speak English, and she replied: “No, we will see each other again in two months.” They laughed when they found her ambition endearing, but effectively two months later Ana de Armas was already auditioning for the big studios thanks to her agent’s insistence that they see her. And boy did they see it. Todd Phillips, the director of Joker, changed the nationality of his character in Game of weapons to suit your accent. He also had no accent on the script Joi, Ryan Gosling’s virtual partner in Blade Runner 2049But the actress convinced director Denis Villeneuve to hire her, assuring him that she would be the last person he would have to worry about on that shoot. Blade Runner 2049 It didn’t require her to be particularly fit (although she did appear nude), but the actress self-imposed a diet and exercise chart to offer the film the best possible version of itself.
“When you get there you feel like you don’t fit in, that you’re not pretty enough, or blonde, or tall, or thin, that you don’t have a good accent. You waste your energy in overcoming a whole series of handicaps that they put both you and yourself. But I want to have it all and I’m going to try it “, explained back then in Frames. As she made her way in Hollywood, the Spanish media described her in terms like “A young woman with a sweet face and a disturbing look”, “so beautiful that hurts, with a tender gesture, a sexy look and a figure with curves that produces vertigo ”or“ the only thing that remains of that schoolgirl who wore the Laguna Negra uniform is that feline gaze that catches anyone with her intense honey green eyes ”. The publication New Yorker, Conversely, admired that every time he appeared in Blade Runner 2049 it made the movie’s imaginative heart pump faster.
She herself has confirmed that all her scenes in No time to die (the new James Bond, again with Daniel Craig, which opens in April 2020) are written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge. The fashion author in Hollywood, thanks to the three Emmys she has won for her series Fleabag, she was hired not to make James Bond less macho but to make the movie less macho. Next April everyone will be watching how 007 manages in the post- # MeToo world. Next April everyone will be watching Ana de Armas.
In that interview for ICON he told us the only advice his father gave him before leaving Cuba: “Long sight, short steps.” If De Armas has left behind her family, her friends and her life twice, it is because she is convinced that her dream has to be fulfilled: “That there are a thousand like you does not mean that they will not choose you.”
He also compares his current life with that he had in Cuba a little over a decade ago. “There were no stores or ads there, while Los Angeles is obsessed with fashion and shopping. And if the magazines and the billboards tell me to buy a boot, well sometimes I will buy it ”, joked in Harper’s Bazaar. In a way she is now like those boots and for now Hollywood has decided to keep her.
Pending the verdict of the public, Ana de Armas only has what to call to their parents, who continue to live in Havana, to come down to earth: “Every time I tell them that they have given me a role, they don’t always understand the magnitude. I have to remind you who Keanu Reeves is. But they are only happy that I have a job. ”
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