Ana De Armas Was About To Pass On Her Role As The ‘Pretty Latina Caretaker’ That Just Landed Her A Golden Globes Nomination
The Hollywood Foreign Press announced its picks for the year’s best in movies and TV this week. A few Latinos made the list. The rising star, Ana de Armas is making her Golden Globes debut this year for her role in “Knives Out.” Good thing the actress didn’t pass on the role. Here’s everything you need to know about the Cuban starlet.
Rising star Ana de Armas was nominated for a Golden Globe.
The Cuban-Spanish star is making her debut at the Globes. She was nominated for Best Comedy Actress for the mystery-comedy movie “Knives Out,” in which she plays a nurse with an undocumented mother.
The description of the character seemed too cliché for De Armas, and she was about to pass on it.
According to De Armas, she almost rejected the role because she thought it was a pure stereotype of a Latina woman, “I get this email saying, ‘Nurse in a house and she’s Latina and she’s pretty and this is the scene,’” she said in an interview with AP. “And I was like ‘Are you kidding me? I don’t know what this is about.’ That little description doesn’t say anything to me, it doesn’t speak to me.” Until she delved deeper into the complexity of the character.
De Armas is determined to prove that she’s more than an “exotic” face with an accent.
Although she speaks naturally with an accent, she’s worked hard to prove herself capable of playing characters outside of her ethnicity and pushes her team to send her out on auditions for everything.
She studied theater in Havana and moved to Madrid to try her luck.
De Armas attended theater school in Havana. Later, she moved to Madrid with $300 saved up to try a bigger pond. It was an amount that she assumed would help her survive for a few months (it would have in Cuba) but she quickly discovered otherwise. Still, de Armas found a way to land big roles in television and film. After 8 years in Madrid, she felt that she was ready to move on and try Hollywood even though she knew very little English.
After her initial skepticism, de Armas decided to give “Knives Out” a chance.
She had to fight for access to the closely guarded “Knives Out” script, but after she read it she realized she had to do it. De Armas flew from the set of ‘Sergio’ in Thailand, to Boston to audition for Johnson, who had cast a wide net for the role of Marta (one of the only non-movie stars in the film that includes Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Don Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Christopher Plummer).
De Armas plays ‘Marta’ the “pretty, Latina, caretaker.”
When she read the email describing the part, “Nurse. Latina. Pretty,” she remembers, it didn’t speak to her. But she was later surprised to find our that Marta was a multilayered character who was also the center of the story.
Marta is the caretaker of legendary mystery author Harlan Thrombey, whose extended family is too busy counting the zeroes in their bank accounts to recognize their own privilege.
After Harlan dies a sudden and grisly death, Marta is plunged into a shark’s tank of relatives hungry for his estate. Meanwhile two local detectives and a Southern-fried private investigator named Benoit Blanc snoop around, suspecting foul play.
The working-class character, specifically written as Latina, holds her own against a clan of upper-crust frenemies.
She’s not just a peripheral window dressing or a stereotype or expendable. “Usually, when you’re Latina, what is usually highlighted is not necessarily the most positive qualities,” said De Armas. “These characters, they don’t exist.”
“Latinas rarely exist at the center of a film, especially not in the context that we have in this movie. So, because of the character description, my imagination immediately went to a portrayal that was not necessarily very positive or exciting in relation to Latin culture,” de Armas told “The Hollywood Reporter. “When I finally read the script, I realized that the description didn’t fit at all because Marta is so much more than that.”
De Armas was not the only Latin American artist nominated for a Golden Globe this year.
Jennifer Lopez was nominated in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture category for “Hustlers” and Joaquin Phoenix was nominated in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama category for his performance in “Joker”.
During the filming of “Knives Out” de Armas formed a connection with Daniel Craig that would lead her to her next major role.
De Armas’ friendship with Daniel Craig carried her over into the major franchise the actor stars in; James Bond. Once again though, de Armas was skeptical. A Bond girl is just not someone who resonated with her. After she found out that “Fleabag’s” Phoebe Waller-Bridge wrote her scenes, de Armas was heartened to discover that Paloma wasn’t the stereotypically “perfect” Bond girl but “messy and kind of crazy.” “I thought, ‘That Bond woman, I can be,’” she said.
READ: The James Bond Franchise Has Been Around For Decades But Only Recently Cast Its First Latina Bond Girl
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