Entertainment

Cubana Actress Ana de Armas Talks About How ‘Groundbreaking’ It Is to Be a Latina Playing Marilyn Monroe in a New Movie

Photos via Getty Images; CarryEyesCinema/Twitter

Rising star Ana de Armas is putting her acting skills to the test for her next role. The Cuban-born actress–who made a splash for her portrayal of the angelic nurse Marta Cabrera in 2019’s comedy-mystery “Knives Out”–recently filmed a movie called “Blonde.”

The upcoming “Blonde” will be based on a famous novel by Joyce Carol Oates that reimagines and fictionalizes the personal life of Marilyn Monroe. According to the press release, the film will be “through the modern lens of celebrity culture.”

The 32-year-old actress recently opened up about the work she put in to erasing her native Cuban accent and nailing Monroe’s signature breathy inflection.

“I tried!” she told The Sunday Times when asked if she nailed the starlet’s iconic voice. “It only took me nine months of dialect coaching, and practicing, and some ADR sessions [rerecording dialogue after filming].”

She went on to say that learning the voice was “a big torture” and “so exhausting.” “My brain was fried,” she admitted.

De Armas has previously been candid about how much it meant to her to be a Latina woman cast as Marilyn Monroe.

“I only had to audition for Marilyn once and Andrew said ‘It’s you,’ but I had to audition for everyone else. The producers. The money people. I always have people I needed to convince,” she told Vanity Fair last year. “But I knew I could do it. Playing Marilyn was groundbreaking. A Cuban playing Marilyn Monroe. I wanted it so badly.”

In fact, she was so emotionally when she first put on the Marilyn wig and makeup, that she couldn’t hold it together. “I cried, she told Allure. “It was a big, big deal for me. It was a very important role for me, a big challenge, something that I was preparing for a very long time — and to finally sit in the chair and put the wig and makeup on… it was very special.”

Ana de Armas has always been very open in interviews about the difficulties of going up in Cuba, isolated from the rest of the world.

She grew up without many material possessions, hitchhiking to drama school everyday when she was a teenager. When she turned 18, she decided to pick up and move to Spain with $300 in her pocket.

“In Cuba you live in a bubble. I didn’t know what the world was like. I had never travelled before in my life,” she explained to The Sunday Times.

After she found instant success in Spain, she decided to try her luck in Hollywood, moving to Los Angeles in 2014. She knew practically no English and had to learn the language from scratch. “In the beginning I was not getting it at all,” she says about learning English. “But, you know, it’s getting better!”

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Netflix’s Documentary About A Lesbian Couple Is A Reminder That Latinas Also Inspired ‘A League Of Their Own’

Entertainment

Netflix’s Documentary About A Lesbian Couple Is A Reminder That Latinas Also Inspired ‘A League Of Their Own’

AAGPBL // From Left to right: Ysora Castillo-Kinney, Mirtha Marrero, Isabel Alvarez, Luisa Gallegos,

If you’ve yet to tune into Netflix’s released documentary “A Secret Love,” you must check it out. Apart from painting a very vibrant and beautiful love story that has stood the test of time, politics, and social taboos, it also has so much for supporters of the LGBTQ community to learn and absorb. Particularly when it comes to the storyline of the two stars and their connection to the 1992 film “A League Of Their Own.”

As it turns out, one of the stars of the film was a member of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, a women’s league founded in 1943 that had all-female players. In the film, Terry Donahue, who was a catcher for the Peoria Red Wings from 1946 until 1949 and is not Latina, explains that during the time of the league’s run, women were recruited from the midwest of the United States, Canada, and even Cuba. This revelation led us to a pretty cool realization about the history of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which was left out of the film “A League Of Their Own.”

Cubana baseball players were left out of the 1992 film which starred Geena Davis, Madonna, and Rosie O’Donnell.

Among the seven women born in Cuba who joined and played for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League were players Zonia Vialat, Luisa Gallegos, Mirtha Marrero, Migdalia Pérez and Gloria Ruiz. All seven women joined the league in 1948. The next year two more Latinas by the names were added, Isabel Alvarez and Isora del Castillo.

In 2011, the AAGPBL teammates from Cuba were honored at a ceremony in New York City where they had their names and photos presented. One of the baseball players involved in the league, Izabel Alvarez even had a documentary created about her experience in the film “Cuba on My Mind: The Baseball Journey of Isabel Alvarez.” Alvarez in particular has been very vocal about her time in the league as a Cuban female baseball player.

According to Grand Valley State Oral history project, “Isabel Alvarez was born in Havana, Cuba in 1933. She grew up in Havana and played baseball with the neighborhood kids and was also involved with other sports. In 1947, she pitched her first exhibition game in American baseball and was picked by the All American League and sponsored to come to the United States with three other Cubans to play baseball in 1949. She played pitcher for the Chicago Colleens from 1949 through the 1950 season. When the Chicago Colleens folded, she went on to play for the Fort Wayne Daisies during the 1951 and 1954 seasons. Upon getting her citizenship in 1953 she stayed in the United States permanently. During her six-year baseball career she also played utility outfielder and also played briefly with the Battle Creek Belles (1951); Kalamazoo Lassies (1953); and the Grand Rapids Chicks (1954).”

Speaking about what sparked her interest in baseball, Alvarez chalked it up to her own mother.

“I think very—my mother was all sport orientated and she knew it was healthy, so baseball they played in the street you know and she let me do the sports, but she didn’t let me do any other things,” says in the video interview. Alvarez who lives in the United States went on to say that she remains very fond of her time in the league, particularly of the Cuban women who joined her. ” If I never would have met those people I would be back in Cuba yet. My mother would cry then, but I’m so thankful, you just can’t imagine how lucky I’ve been. I think I have been, of all the Cubans and I’m not bragging, I have been the lucky one.”

You can check out her full interview about her time in the league here.

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From Sofia Vergara To Ana De Armas, Here’s How Your Faves Celebrated The New Year With Friends And Family

Entertainment

From Sofia Vergara To Ana De Armas, Here’s How Your Faves Celebrated The New Year With Friends And Family

sofiavergara / wilmervalderrama / Instagram

2020 has officially arrived! And as with any New Year, this one comes as a blank slate ready to be filled with possibilities, resolutions, and brand new memories. And the fact that this year marks the beginning of a brand new decade makes everything that more exciting. Not only does the past feel unimportant, but now the future feels filled with endless possibilities. The end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 gave people around the world a reason to celebrate. And whether your mode of celebration was staying in with a cup of hot cocoa, or dancing your butt off until the crack of dawn, know that there is no one right way to ring in the New Year.

 And if, by this point, you’re still too busy fighting off your New Year’s Eve hangover to be thinking about 2020 goals, know you’re not alone. As the old saying goes, stars are just like us, and they too spent January 31st in various states of drunkenness. Thankfully, Instagram is here to help us spy on our favorite stars and see how they celebrated the beginning of a new decade. Read on to see how your favorite Latino celebs celebrated the New Year!

1. Mariah Carey spent her New Year’s in the Dominican Republic.

After a super-eventful holiday season, Mimi was getting some much-needed R&R in Punta Cana. We wonder if this was before or after her Twitter account was unceremoniously hacked by a mischievous troll…

2. Salma Hayek and Zoe Saldana rang in the New Year together furthering their BFF goals status.

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Happy 2020. #felizañonuevo #happynewyear

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We have to admit, we suffered from FOMO seeing these two have fun together. But, we love seeing strong Latinas celebrate their friendship together! Salma Hayek shared this adorable video of herself and Saldana counting down to the stroke of midnight with their respective husbands. So cute!

3. Thalia spent hers partying in Miami.

Leave it to Thalia to dance the night away after all these years. Her zest for life puts us all to shame!

4. Sofia Vergara spent her New Year’s Eve in a tropical paradise.

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Feliz añooooo????????????

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Not only was Vergara surrounded by the sun and the sand, she also was surrounded by her hunky husband, Joe Manganiello. 

5. Eva Longoria spent time with friends and family in Cabo.

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Cabo Sunsets ???? Last sunset of 2019!

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Longoria rang in the New Year with her new baby in Cabo. If you’re interested in seeing more, her Instagram feed is chock-full of photos documenting her super-fun vacation during the holidays.

6. Maluma spent his snowboarding.

While some people chose to spend the New Year on the beach, Maluma opted for a snowier location. Sure, we wouldn’t have minded seeing him lounging on the beach without his shirt, but he looks super cute in snow gear anyway.

7. Wilmer Valderrama spent his New Year…getting engaged.

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“It’s just us now” 01-01-2020

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Not one to be out-shone by the turn of the decade, Valderrama proposed to his girlfriend of eight months, model Amanda Pacheco, on January 1st.

8. America Ferrera announced her pregnancy.

America Ferrera took the New Year as an opportunity to announce that she’s expecting her second child with husband Ryan Piers Williams.

9. Ana de Armas spent it with friends in Cuba.

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???? 2020, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! ????

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The “Knives Out” actress and upcoming Bond girl spent New Years Eve in her home country. 

10.  J.Lo and ARod spent New Year’s Eve partying with friends and family.

The power couple shared photos of themselves dressed to the nines on Instagram.

11. Becky G spent hers in a snowy paradise with her boyfriend Sebastian Lletget.

Like Maluma, Becky G spent her New Year surrounded by snow and sports. 

12. Christina Aguilera celebrated by rocking the house at her Vegas residency.

Never one to turn down the opportunity to work, Xtina rang in the New Year by giving her fans a show to remember. 

13. Eugenio Derbez counted grapes like we all did.

Eugenio Derbez blessed us with an adorable video of himself practicing the Spanish tradition of eating one grape for each stroke of midnight. 

READ: People Share The Stories Of Their Past New Years Kisses

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