1. Ana de Armas almost missed out on Blade Runner 2049
Ana de Armas was relatively unknown to US audiences when she won the coveted role of Joi in Blade Runner 2049. It was a role of a lifetime in a movie that has over 35 years between sequels. The risk has paid off from Cuba to Madrid and all the way to the top of Hollywood. Ana is on the rise.
From Spain to Hollywood
One of the most humbling things a person can do is start from scratch. Whether it's a job, divorce, moving countries, or changing careers - a human being can endure a lot. Ana de Armas has not only endured all of the above, at 29 years old and only two English speaking roles behind her (Knock Knock, with Keanu Reeves and currently, Blade Runner 2049, with Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling) Ana's risen to the top of the A-List. De Armas's grit and determination to learn a new language AND pursue a career in Hollywood is the stuff that dreams are made of. De Armas not only walked through the casting door but rather, Ana kicked it in - her management team pushed the agent to see this unknown actress and before Ana knew it, she had a final audition opposite Ryan Gosling. It was a very stressful situation, even for the driven actress.
"I was going crazy, like, seriously? The LAST thing I need is to meet Ryan Gosling today," she recalled. "But he was so nice. We laughed a lot on set," says Ana incredulously.
Ana on her co-star Ryan Gosling
I Always Told You - You're Special
Ana de Armas IS special. Ana's life truly is a fairty-tale going from rags to riches and starring in a major motion picture with Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford in Blade Runner 2049,
"The big scope of the movie and then the intimacy of these characters is a beautiful combination. It's really special," says de Armas.
The Ambitious Actress
De Armas and her management pushed to get this opportunity, since Ana was relatively unknown outside of Spain and Cuba. The actress got her start on the TV show "El Internado Laguna Negra." It was this show that made Ana household name in Spain. But, alas, it was not enough for this ambitious actress.
"It was really exciting, but I got to the point like I had in Cuba where I thought I wanted more than this - I wanted something challenging," says de Armas, emphatically.
Ana de Armas on her deciding to move to the United States permanently.
Entree to the USA
Ana de Armas had one chance to make a dent on US audiences and she did it, wickedly so, in her star-making turn in Knock Knock - the movie title is exactly what Ana did with casting directors when she auditioned for Blade Runner 2049.
"At the beginning, all I heard (from my management) was there was this huge audition and we are pushing for you to get into the room - so pushing means that I was not on the list - but, I'm glad that they did push," De Armas declares.
Ana de Armas on auditioning for Blade Runner 2049.
2. Ana de Armas didn't speak a word of English when she got her starring role opposite Keanu Reeves in 2016's Knock Knock
After leaving her husband Marc Clotet, Ana de Armas moved to Los Angeles and immersed herself in acting classes. Ana made herself learn English and was determined to audition for roles that weren't just cashing in on her Spanish Fame. Ana de Armas is a household name in Spain, due to the success of the TV show "El Internado Laguna Negra."
After struggling to learn English, upon arriving in the USA, de Armas immersed herself in acting class and aced her breakout role in her first major feature film in the United States. Ana's performance in Knock Knock, opposite Keanu Reeves, is a stand out in what is a drab psychological thriller. De Armas made the character her own and is memorable for going to the wall to achieve such realism in the searing scenes with Reeves. Ana really power-charged the movie overall. Not bad for an actress who, a year before, couldn't speak a word of English.
3. Ana de Armas was married to Spanish actor Marc Clotet and she divorced her husband in 2013
No time for love. Ana de Armas divorced Marc Clotet after a mere 2 years and moved to the United States to pursue her dreams. No harm, no foul.
Love at first sight and meeting on set and sharing similar ambitions can lead to competition and friction. Since Ana de Armas divorced her husband Marc Clotet in 2013; her career continues a steady rise to the top of the A-list of Hollywood's elite. Since leaving Spain and Marc Clotet behind, in 3 short years, Ana has made a star splash with her role opposite Keanu Reeves in 2016's Knock Knock and landed like a supernova on the big screen again, in the huge Sci-Fi blockbuster Blade Runner 2049, with Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling.
Bye, Bye Love
"It was really good exercise for my ego after eight years in Spain, having a great career. When you move to the States, whatever you've done before, doesn't count. It's kind of refreshing," muses de Armas.
4. Ana de Armas was 12 years old when she caught the acting bug.
De Armas used to practice lines from emotional scenes, when Ana watched movies and at a young age, knew it was what she wanted to do, insisting on studying at the National Theater School, in Cuba. It wasn't long after graduating, Ana moved from Cuba to Madrid to gather greater opportunities for herself. It seems that de Armas always wanted to stretch beyond any limitations and seek out new challenges to herself as a person and as an actor. It's a rare breed.
Since divorcing her husband Marc Clotet in 2013, Ana de Armas hasn't looked back.
"I've always been very ambitious and I always knew I wanted something else. Cuba was a good start, but I knew I wasn't going to develop a real career and I wanted to get closer to filmmakers that I wanted to work with. I moved to Madrid with 200 bucks in my pocket to see what was going to happen," says de Armas pointedly.
Ana on moving to the United States.
5. The final cut of Blade Runner 2049 Made her cry
After spending 5 grueling months shooting Blade Runner 2049 in Budapest, Ana de Armas not only underwent rigorous personal training for the role; Ana knew that even though the role wasn't physical, per se, she had to be on top of her peak performance, emotionally. The role demanded an internal life, a deftness of touch and pivotal highly-charged emotional scenes. Ana's physical preparation grounded her intensely emotional performance. De Armas brings the very depth of her humanity to the seminal role of Joi. In watching the finished product, after months of shooting and waiting for the movie's release; it was indeed a cathartic experience for the determined actress, Ana de Armas.
"We wanted the audience to forget the obvious. In order to do that, you really have to see all the things that make you human, like passion and love. I had to take 25 minutes after it was over, with a box of Kleenex, just taking it in," de Armas says, reflectively.
de Armas on her role in Blade Runner 2049.
The story continues for Ana de Armas
From Cuba to Hollywood, Ana de Armas gets an A for "Ambition." There's only one way to go and that's up. Congratulations, Ana - you beat the odds with grit, divorce, and determination.
On the rise
Just like Blade Runner 2049, where fantasy becomes a reality and in the end, a love story, so is true for actress Ana de Armas. Ana took a risk, learned a new language and is doing what she is most passionate about - acting. Ana's journey and our love story with her, has only just begun.