Ana de Armas Might Just Be the Second Latina Bond Girl in a Row for the 007 Franchise
On April 25, director Cary Fukunaga revealed the returning and new cast members of the latest James Bond movie — currently titled Bond 25, as it is the 25th one — in Jamaica. If you're not familiar with the iconic movie franchise, wyd? It's only the longest running and most successful of all time.
Prior to the announcement, I knew little to nothing. I was going to speak with some of the cast, but wasn't sure who, exactly (this was top secret until the live-streamed reveal). Also, I was going to be staying at the Moon Palace in Jamaica for three days, which just happens to sit on the very spot where Sean Connery (the original James Bond) landed his helicopter in the first James Bond movie, Dr. No.
Jamaica's connection to the Bond films is huge: Numerous works have been set on the island (Dr. No, Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun), but that's not all! The location of the announcement took place at the GoldenEye estate, one-time home of Ian Fleming, who created the James Bond character in 1952. (Remember GoldenEye, the first Pierce Brosnan installment?!)
At 8:10 in the morning, Fukunaga, who replaced Danny Boyle as director, read the list of returning names: Ralph Fiennes (as M), Naomie Harris (as Moneypenny), Rory Kinnear (as Bill Tanner), Lea Seydoux (as Madeleine Swann), Ben Whishaw (as Q), Jeffrey Wright (as Felix Leiter). Some of the new cast? Ana de Armas, Dali Benssalah, David Dencik, Lashana Lynch, Billy Magnussen, and Rami Malek.
Another Latina Bond Girl?
Perhaps recognizing an ever-growing Latinx market, this will be the second film in a row to feature a sexy Latina provocateur. Mexican Stephanie Sigman was cast in the last Bond release, 2015's Spectre. Two others come from back in the 1980s: Nicaraguan actress/model Barbara Carrera from the Sean Connery era's Never Say Never Again (1983) and License to Kill's Talisa Soto, a Brooklyn native of Puerto Rican descent, starring opposite Timothy Dalton.
Even though filming for the movie officially started April 28, potential Bond Girl and Cuban actress Ana de Armas is already thrilled to be a part of the iconic movie series.
This isn't de Armas's first rodeo — but it will be her first time starring in a James Bond film. “The whole experience is very exciting, you know, Bond films have a long life, from shooting to the premiere, so I'm really looking forward to this.” The 31-year-old is most known for her roles in Blade Runner 2049 alongside Ryan Gosling and Overdrive with Scott Eastwood. She has a starring role in Knives Out alongside Daniel Craig and Chris Evans that will premiere in the fall of 2019.
She's also jazzed about working with first-time Bond director Fukunaga — whose previous work includes TV series True Detective and Maniac with Emma Stone and Jonah Hill, and the film Beasts of No Nation. “He was always one of those directors that I was aiming for, I wished one day I can work with him and [now] it's happening,” she said.
Raised in Havana, De Armas has been acting since the age of 12, she started out in Spanish-language roles and successfully crossed over to the general American market in 2015 with her big break in Knock Knock alongside Keanu Reeves.
The actress admits that while nabbing roles in Hollywood is a struggle, particularly for those hailing from beyond the 50 states, things are getting better. “It's a great time to make noise for Latinas, anybody, you have to work hard. Work, work, work, and dream big. You can dream as big as you want, no one can tell you differently, and it will come your way.”
But even after you “make it,” so to speak, the pressures don't end. “It's always a juggle when you're unemployed, and you're freaking out 'cause you don't know what's going to happen. It's very hard to deal with, and then when you're working, even though it's the most exciting job that you been hoping for, you're still looking for work [that next job] for the holidays.” How to cope? Don't overdo it and keep that work-life balance, she says. “You don't want to just get to the next job and be exhausted, so I try to take time in between, in order to be healthy and strong and, of course, hungry for more.”