Anne of Arms he whispers, with great tenderness, in Ryan Gosling’s ear: “I always knew you were special” (Blade Runner 2049). Ana de Armas looks lewdly and maliciously at Ben Affleck and manipulates him into having sex (Deep Waters). Ana de Armas threatens Ryan Gosling (The Gray Man) with a pistol again. And soon this brunette will be seen playing the most famous blonde in cinema, Marilyn Monroe.
Who is this cuban who is still learning English to be able to act in Hollywood and who is one of the new stars of the cinema made in that place?
Descendant in part of Spanish immigrants, de Armas was born in Havana 34 years ago, in 1988, and grew up watching movies at a neighbor’s house. She was fascinated by cinema and at the age of 18 she had already shot her first film (she had been admitted to the National Theater of Cuba at the age of 14), under the direction of the Spaniard Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón, in the Hispano-Cuban co-production A rose from France. But not long after, Cuba became too small for her ambitions and the actress took them to the land of her maternal grandparents, Spain. She there she began to stand out thanks to a role in the television series The intershipwhich led her to the cinema (among other films, she made Fat Lies, 2009; El Callejón, 2011 and Por un handful of kisses, 2014).
But again: Ana de Armas had bigger screens in her sights. In 2014 she went to New York to learn English so she could act in Hollywood. The truth is that it was not easy for her to incorporate the Anglo-Saxon language. In a video interview for the Spanish journalist Pablo Motos, the actress said that “it was worse than I thought. It was very hard because after eight years in Spain she had already formed a new family. I think it was harder emotionally than my career.”
In addition, in that interview he said that while filming for director Todd Phillips (in the film Game of Arms, 2016), he had learned all his dialogues phonetically (as Natalia Oreiro did when she played a woman of German descent in Wakolda, 2013). Matter that Phillips came up with the actress changing part of her speeches in one of the scenes. Impossible. She didn’t know English. She knew how to reproduce phonetically what was in the script, but no more. Phillips had to give up and shoot the scene as scripted.
But English was not going to be an insurmountable obstacle for much longer. The Cuban continued to study and learn, and although she herself says that she continues to have “problems” with English, the truth is that this language comes out much better than, for example, Antonio Banderas, Javier Bardem or Sofía Vergara, who have done of their accent an advantage, something that distinguishes them.
Also, does anyone really care about perfect pronunciation after Arnold Schwarzengger proved that you can become Hollywood’s biggest star with an accent harder than a rock?
The truth is that although it was difficult for her to assimilate English, Ana de Armas went from success to success. Today, his beautiful face seems to have a place in the biggest productions, such as the James Bond franchise (he acts in No Time to Die), in prestigious projects, such as the aforementioned Blade Runner 2049 (one of the few sequels that are height of the film that gives them foot to exist). Or in the not yet released film about Marilyn Monroe, Blondea story about Monroe’s inner life based on a story by one of America’s greatest writers, Joyce Carol Oates.
Although Ana de Armas still has a long way to go in terms of a Hollywood career, the role where she will play Monroe can be considered a milestone. The Cuban is going to give life to an “iconic” figure, as they say now. How she pulls off that performance may depend on whether she becomes an actress with Oscar and Golden Globe aspirations, for example.
Currently, she can be seen in The Gray Man on Netflix. The film is one of the company’s big bets, with a budget close to US$200 million, with brothers Anthony and Joe Russo as directors (Avengers Infinity War, among others) and a cast that includes Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans. There, he plays a CIA agent who gets caught up in a power game between a CIA division chief and an agent who begins to think for himself instead of blindly following orders.
The film has received quite harsh and negative reviews. For many critics, the Russos failed to give the story more than a flashy treatment in the action sequences (a couple of which stand out as both spectacular and solidly executed). But it would be necessary to see if it is not a question of a little excessive criticism for what the film is: an action story in the style of Mission Impossible, with a trashy villain played by Chris Evans and a taciturn antihero played by Ryan Gosling, one of the actors who best know how to be silent and stare blankly at the horizon.
The Cuban comes out quite unscathed from the barrage of criticism, perhaps because her role does not require too much acting deployment. When Blonde opens, all eyes will be on her. Until now, de Armas has taken it on like a champion.