Published on Feb 18, 2021

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Ana Celia de Armas Caso (born 30 April 1988) is a Cuban-Spanish actress. She began her career as a teenager in her home country of Cuba and most notably had a leading role in the romantic drama Una rosa de Francia (2006). At the age of 18, she moved to Madrid, Spain and starred in the popular teen drama El Internado for six seasons from 2007 to 2010.

After moving to Los Angeles, de Armas had English-speaking roles in the erotic thriller Knock Knock (2015) and the comedy-crime film War Dogs (2016), and had a supporting role in the sports biopic Hands of Stone (2016). She rose to prominence with her role as a holographic AI projection in the science fiction film Blade Runner 2049 (2017). For her performance as nurse Marta Cabrera in the mystery film Knives Out (2019), de Armas was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical.

Ana Celia de Armas Caso was born in Havana, Cuba, and raised in the small city of Santa Cruz del Norte. Her father, RamΓ³n, worked in different positions including as a bank manager, a teacher, a school principal, and the deputy mayor of a town. He had previously studied philosophy at a Soviet university. Her mother, Ana, worked in the human resources section of the Ministry of Education. She has one older brother, Javier, a New York-based photographer who, in 2020, was questioned by Cuban police due to his critical stance on Decree 349 and his links to artists under government surveillance. While de Armas grew up with food rationing, fuel shortages and electricity blackouts during Cuba’s Special Period, she has described her childhood as happy.

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As a teenager, de Armas had no internet access and had limited knowledge of popular culture beyond Cuba. She was allowed to watch “20 minutes of cartoons on Saturday and the Sunday movie matinee.” Her family did not own a “video or DVD player” and she watched Hollywood movies in her neighbor’s apartment. She memorized and practiced monologues in front of the mirror, and decided to become an actress when she was 12. In 2002, at the age of 14, she successfully auditioned to join Havana’s National Theater School of Cuba. She hitchhiked or travelled by bus each day to attend the “rigorous” course. While a student there, she filmed three movies. She left the four-year drama course months before presenting her final thesis because Cuban graduates are forbidden from leaving the country without completing three years of mandatory service to the state. At the age of 18, with Spanish citizenship through her maternal grandparents, de Armas moved to Madrid, Spain to pursue an acting career.

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