Ana de Armas Biography
Ana Celia de Armas Caso is a Cuban and Spanish actress. She was born on April 30, 1988, and her Spanish name is [ana selja e armas kaso]. She started her career in Cuba, where she starred in the romantic drama Una rosa de Francia (2006). She moved to Madrid, Spain, when she was 18. From 2007 to 2010, she was the star of the popular teen drama El Internado for six seasons.
After moving to Los Angeles, de Armas had English-speaking parts in the movies Knock Knock (2015), a psychological thriller, and War Dogs (2016), a comedy-crime film, and Hands of Stone, a sports biopic (2016). She became famous after playing an AI hologram in the science fiction movie Blade Runner 2049. (2017). She was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical for her role as nurse Marta Cabrera in the 2019 mystery film Knives Out, and she won the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress. She went on to play Bond girl Paloma in the 2021 James Bond movie No Time to Die, and she was praised for her role as Marilyn Monroe in the film Blonde (2022).
De Armas was born in Havana, Cuba, and grew up in Santa Cruz del Norte, a small city in the north of the country. Her paternal grandparents came from Spain to Cuba to start a new life. Her father, Ramón, worked in a bank, as a teacher, as the head of a school, and as the deputy mayor of a town, among other jobs. He used to go to a Soviet university to study philosophy. Her mother, Ana, worked in the Ministry of Education’s human resources department. Javier, De Armas’s older brother, is a photographer who lives in New York. In 2020, he was questioned by Cuban police because he was critical of Decree 349 and had ties to artists who were being watched by the government. During Cuba’s Special Period, when de Armas was a child, there were food rations, gas shortages, and power outages. However, she has said that her childhood was happy.
As a teenager, de Armas didn’t have access to the internet and didn’t know much about popular culture outside of Cuba.
She could watch “20 minutes of cartoons on Saturday and a movie in the afternoon on Sunday.” Her family didn’t have a “video or DVD player,” so she went to her neighbor’s apartment to watch Hollywood movies. She learned monologues by heart and practiced them in front of the mirror. When she was 12, she decided to become an actress. In 2002, when she was 14, she tried out for the National Theatre of Cuba in Havana and was accepted. She sometimes took rides with strangers to get to the “rigorous” class. She made three movies while she was in school. She left the four-year drama course a few months before her final thesis because Cuban graduates can’t leave the country until they’ve done three years of community service. At age 18, she moved to Madrid to try to become an actress. Her maternal grandparents gave her Spanish citizenship, so she was able to do this.
Career beginnings in Spanish cinema (2006–2013)
As a teenager in her native Cuba, de Armas had a starring role opposite Álex González in Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón’s romantic drama Una rosa de Francia (2006). After meeting de Armas at a birthday party with his daughters, Cuban actor Jorge Perugorra suggested that the director think about her for the part. The director went to de Armas’s drama school and told the 16-year-old actress during her audition that she had gotten the part. She went to Spain as part of a tour to promote the movie. There, she met Juan Lanja, who would later become her agent in Spain. Then she was in the movie El edén perdido (2007) and had a small part in Fernando Pérez’s Madrigal (2007), which was filmed at night without her drama school teachers’ permission.
When de Armas was 18, he moved to Madrid. Within two weeks of getting there, she met with casting director Luis San Narciso. He had seen her in Una rosa de Francia and wanted to work with her again. Two months later, he put her in the teen drama El Internado as Carolina, where she played the lead role for six seasons, from 2007 to 2010. The show, which took place in a boarding school, was a hit with viewers and made de Armas a famous person in Spain. During a break from filming, she starred in Mentiras y Gordas, a successful coming-of-age comedy (2009). Even though El Internado was a big hit, de Armas felt like she was typecast and was mostly offered roles as teenagers. In the show’s second-to-last season, she asked to be written out.
After living in New York City for a few months to learn English, de Armas was convinced to go back to Spain to star in 17 episodes of the historical drama Hispania (2010–2011). Then, she was in the horror movies “El Callejon” (2011) and “Anabel” (2015) by Antonio Trashorras, as well as the drama “Por un puado de besos” (2014). During a long time when she didn’t have any acting jobs, de Armas took part in workshops at Tomaz Pandur’s Madrid theater company and felt “very anxious” about her career.
Transition to Hollywood and breakthrough (2014–2020)
She moved to Los Angeles at her agent’s urging. De Armas had to start over when she moved to Los Angeles in 2014. Early auditions were difficult because she spoke very little English. She spent four months learning English full-time to avoid portraying Latina-only roles. In her debut Hollywood film, Knock Knock (2015), staring Keanu Reeves, she studied her lines phonetically. Randy Cordova of the Arizona Republic deemed de Armas “unconvincing” in her role. Reeves called de Armas to invite her to star in Daughter of God, a thriller he acted in and produced. Due to executive involvement, Daughter of God was modified to diminish de Armas’ role. In 2016, Exposed was released.   Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter said de Armas was “appealing” but couldn’t show her “character’s strong emotional demands.”
De Armas played Miles Teller’s wife in Todd Phillips’ War Dogs (2016), learning her lines phonetically. IndieWire’s David Ehrlich called her “memorable” She played Roberto Durán’s wife in the 2016 movie Hands of Stone. Hands of Stone was de Armas’ debut Hollywood picture. While residing in Madrid, director Jonathan Jakubowicz saw her in El Internado and urged her to apply for the Spanish-language part. RogerEbert.com’s Christy Lemire called de Armas “remarkable.” “charismatic. Except for a few showy occasions, she’s mostly a dutiful wife.”
In Blade Runner 2049 (2017), de Armas played Joi, Ryan Gosling’s holographic AI girlfriend. The Guardian’s Mark Kermode claimed she “brings 3-D warmth to a digital presentation.” The New Yorker’s Anthony Lane called her “wonderful” The film disappointed commercially, and de Armas spent the next year in Cuba, where she bought a property. In 2017, she played Scott Eastwood’s love interest in Overdrive. The Hollywood Reporter’s Stephen Dalton said she has more personality than her sidekick job suggests.
Corazón featured de Armas and Demián Bichir in 2018. In the Montefiore Medical Center-funded short film, she plays a Dominican woman with heart failure. De Armas’ segments in Yesterday’s trailer were deleted from the finished picture. Danny Boyle stated de Armas was “very radiant” in her parts, but people didn’t like the love triangle narrative.
Rian Johnson’s Knives Out (2019), starring Ana de Armas as an immigrant nurse, was a breakthrough for the actress. She was initially unenthusiastic about playing a traditional “Latina carer,” but quickly realized her character was “so much more.” The Times’ Tom Shone said, “The film’s finest performance comes from the Cuban de Armas, who makes kindness interesting.” The Guardian’s Benjamin Lee called her performance “striking.” Box office success. De Armas won the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress and the National Board of Review Award for Best Cast alongside the cast.
De Armas appeared in four 2020 U.S. films. She played Joel Kinnaman’s wife in The Informer. Guy Lodge of Variety called her Knives Out role “thin” In The Night Clerk, she played a femme fatale. RogerEbert.com’s Brian Tallerico stated the picture “had no notion” what to do with her “blinding charisma,” and The AV Club’s Katie Rife said it would be remembered as “a movie de Armas was way too brilliant for.” She played U.N. official Carolina Larriera opposite Wagner Moura in Sergio (2020). The Hollywood Reporter called her “magnetic,” and Variety said she gave the role “intelligence and will” Olivier Assayas’ Netflix spy thriller Wasp Network reunited De Armas and Moura. De Armas’ first film in Cuba since leaving as a teenager. The New York Times called her “superb” while Variety called her “a cheerful, beguiling presence”
Leading roles and further recognition (2021–present)
In 2021, de Armas worked with Daniel Craig again in Cary Joji Fukunaga’s No Time to Die. She played a Bond girl in that movie. Fukunaga put de Armas in mind when he wrote the part of a Cuban CIA agent.  She said that the character was “very careless” and “very bubbly.” In the short part she played in No Time to Die, Paloma said she didn’t have much training but turned out to be very skilled. The movie No Time to Die did well at the box office and got good reviews. It made $774,2 million worldwide. The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw liked de Armas’ “witty and unworldly turn.” Deep Water was an erotic thriller written by Adrian Lyne and based on a book by Patricia Highsmith. De Armas played the lead role. She and Ben Affleck play a married couple with an open relationship. Along with Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans, De Armas was in the 2022 Netflix action movie The Gray Man, which was made by the Russo brothers. Critics and audiences did not like either Deep Water or The Gray Man very much.
In the Netflix biopic Blonde (2022), which was based on Joyce Carol Oates’s biographical fiction novel with the same name, De Armas played Marilyn Monroe. Director Andrew Dominik liked how de Armas acted in Knock Knock, and even though she had to go through a long casting process, he gave her the part after the first audition. For a year, de Armas worked with a dialect coach to get ready for the role. She also read Oates’s book and said she studied hundreds of photos, videos, audio recordings, and movies to get ready. Even though her casting was criticized because she had a strong Spanish accent, de Armas’ performance was praised. Catherine Bray of Empire called de Armas’ performance “powerful,” and Richard Lawson of Vanity Fair said, “De Armas is fiercely, almost scarily committed to the role, maintaining high and focused energy through every torrent of tears, screams, and traumas.”
De Armas will next be in the Apple TV+ movie Ghosted, where she will replace Scarlett Johansson. The movie also stars Chris Evans.
Midway through 2010, De Armas started dating Spanish actor Marc Clotet, and in July 2011, they got married in Costa Brava. They split up at the start of 2013. During a relationship from early 2015 to late 2016, she was briefly engaged to an American talent agent named Franklin Latt. After meeting on the set of Deep Water at the end of 2019, de Armas dated American actor Ben Affleck from March 2020 to January 2021.
De Armas is a citizen of both Cuba and Spain. She moved to Los Angeles when she was 26. As of 2022, she lives in New York City.