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Ana de Armas: A Tale of Talent and Encouragement from Her Loving Parents

Ana de Armas, a well-known Cuban and Spanish actress, was born on April 30, 1988, to Ramón de Armas and Ana Caso. She grew up in the modest Cuban village of Santa Cruz del Norte.

Ramón, her father, worked as a bank manager, a teacher, a school principal, and the deputy mayor of a town. At a Soviet university, he studied philosophy.

at the meantime, her mother, Ana, worked at the Ministry of Education’s human resources department.

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Javier, the 35-year-old’s older brother, is a photojournalist working in New York. He was investigated by Cuban authorities in 2020 for his criticism of Decree 349 and his relationships with artists under government surveillance.

Despite the difficulties of growing up in Cuba, which included food rationing, gasoline shortages, and power outages, she remembered her childhood fondly.

She had no internet access during her childhood and adolescence, restricting her exposure to popular culture outside of Cuba. She was only allowed to watch “20 minutes of Saturday cartoons and the Sunday movie matinée.”

She used to watch Hollywood films in her neighbor’s flat because her family didn’t have a video or DVD player. Her interest in acting was sparked by the memorising and practise of monologues in front of a mirror, and she chose to pursue a career as an actress when she was 12 years old.

Ana de Armas’ parents supported her decision to leave her homeland to pursue acting

Ana’s path to follow her acting goals included a risky decision to leave her birthplace, which her parents supported.

During her studies at the National Theatre School of Cuba, the actress took a big risk by dropping out on the verge of graduating. She made the courageous decision to travel to Madrid, Spain, at the age of 18, departing before she could deliver her final thesis.

Reflecting on her decision, she voiced her view that the relatively small Cuban film industry would not provide the chances she sought, owing to its underdevelopment and the lack of film agencies essential for young performers.

 

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Ana decided to take her chances on a broader platform after being inspired by the success of singers such as Andy Garcia, who moved from Havana to Hollywood.

Ana had €200 from her previous film in Cuba, so she went to Europe, assuring her parents that she would return when her funds ran out. Her budget ran out within a week, but she was helped by friends of friends in Spain.

Despite the difficulties, she recognised the dangers of pursuing a career in acting and expressed gratitude for her parents’ support in her decisions. She remembered telling her parents about her move and being grateful for their unwavering support.

Ana de Armas’ early career in Spanish Cinema

Ana won a prominent role in Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón’s romance movie Una Rosa de Francia in her native Cuba in 2006. Her casting came from Cuban actor Jorge Perugorra, who met her at a birthday celebration with his daughters and suggested her to the director.

Aragón paid her a visit at acting school when she was 16, interrupting her audition to inform her that the role was hers. She went to Spain for a film marketing trip, where she met Juan Lanja, who eventually became her Spanish agent.

Following that, she appeared in the 2007 film El edén perdido and had a supporting role in Fernando Pérez’s Madrigal, which was shot at night without the approval of her drama school teachers.

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The actress relocated to Madrid when she was 18 years old. She contacted casting director Luis San Narciso, who had recognised her in Una Rosa de Francia, within two weeks of her arrival.

He cast her as Carolina in the drama El Internado two months later, a role she portrayed for six seasons from 2007 to 2010, earning her critical praise in Spain.

During a break from filming, she appeared in the critically acclaimed coming-of-age comedy Mentiras y Gordas. Despite the show’s popularity, she felt typecast and received mostly job offers as a child. As a result, in the show’s second-to-last season, she asked to be written out.

Ana returned to Spain to star in seventeen episodes of the historical drama Hispania after spending a few months in New York City learning English.

She later appeared in Antonio Trashorras’ horror flicks El callejón (2011) and Anabel (2015), as well as the 2014 drama Por un puado de besos.

Ana de Armas’ transition to Hollywood

Ana originally arrived in Los Angeles in 2014, and she faced the difficult job of starting again in her career. Her early auditions were distinguished by the difficulty of not fully comprehending the lines she presented due to her weak English proficiency.

As a result, she spent four months studying full-time to master the language, determined not to be pigeonholed into roles designed particularly for Latina actresses.

Overcoming linguistic obstacles, she made her Hollywood debut in Eli Roth’s sensual drama Knock Knock in 2015, opposite Keanu Reeves. The film, however, got mixed reviews, with some critics calling her “unconvincing” in the character.

 

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Regardless, Reeves invited her to join him in the Spanish-language thriller Daughter of God. Unfortunately, the film was heavily edited and re-released as Exposed in 2016, reducing her original main role.

She played the wife of a weapons trader opposite Miles Teller in Todd Phillips’ War Dogs in 2016. In the same year, she portrayed Panamanian boxer Roberto Durán’s wife in the film Hands of Stone.

Ana’s Hollywood career took a turn in 2017 with Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049, in which she played Joi, the holographic AI girlfriend of Ryan Gosling’s character.

Her career reached new heights with a supporting role in the 2019 film Knives Out. Her performance in the film was a watershed moment for her, earning her a Golden Globe nomination.

In 2022, she portrayed Marilyn Monroe in the Netflix biopic Blonde, for which she received critical praise and award nominations.

In the future, she will continue to broaden her horizons with projects such as the action comedy Ghosted and the main part in the John Wick franchise spin-off, Ballerina.

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