Ana says playing Marilyn Monroe was groundbreaking because she's Cuban

Ana de Armas talks her ‘groundbreaking’ Marilyn Monroe role and why she learned English so fast

The Cuban-born actress wanted to play Norma Jeane in the movie Blonde

Ana de Armas has worked hard to make her mark on Hollywood. The 31-year-old actress, who was born in Cuba and moved to Madrid at age 18 before coming to the states, spent seven hours a day for four months learning English in a classroom just a few short years ago. Speaking to Vanity Fair for her March cover story, Ana admitted, “People ask, ‘How did you learn English so quickly?’ I’m like, ‘Because my life depended on it’”—and it certainly paid off. The actress earned her first Golden Globe nomination this year for her role in Knives Out and will soon be hitting the screen as a Bond girl in the 25th James Bond movie, No Time to Die, and stepping into Marilyn Monroe’s heels in the film Blonde.

Ana says playing Marilyn Monroe was groundbreaking because she's Cuban©WireImage
Ana says playing Marilyn Monroe was groundbreaking because she's Cuban

During the interview, Ana noted that Latina actresses are often characterized with words like sensuality and fire. She added, “Or else it’s ‘sexy with a temper.’ And it’s who we are. There’s nothing wrong with it so long as it’s not only that. That’s what I have a problem with.”

The brunette beauty was eager to play the iconic blonde bombshell, Marilyn Monroe, in the Andrew Dominik-directed movie, which is based on the bestselling novel Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates. “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. But I knew I could do it,” she said. “Playing Marilyn was groundbreaking. A Cuban playing Marilyn Monroe. I wanted it so badly.”

While Ana has made great strides in her career, she declared that Hollywood is “not my life, it’s my reality.” She said, “I have great friends, and incredible things have happened for me here, but the lifestyle and the exposure and the constant business situations are not for me. I like talking about life and art and babies and pets. Acting is what I love to do, but I can’t talk about it, not all the time.” Though she might prefer to not discuss her career constantly, Ana confessed that all she wants to do is work. She continued, “All I want to do is get something challenging and prove to myself that I can do it.”

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