Ana Celia de Armas Caso (Spanish: [ˈana ˈselja ðe ˈarmas ˈkaso]; born 30 April 1988) is a Cuban and Spanish actress. She began her career in Cuba and had a leading role in the romantic drama Una rosa de Francia (2006). At age 18, she moved to Madrid, Spain, and starred in the popular teen drama El internado for six seasons from 2007 to 2010.
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, aged 14, she successfully auditioned to join Havana's National Theatre of Cuba. She sometimes hitchhiked to attend the "rigorous" course. While a student, 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 community. At age 18, with Spanish citizenship through her maternal grandparents, she moved to Madrid to pursue an acting career.
De Armas began a relationship with Spanish actor Marc Clotet in mid-2010 and they married in Costa Brava in July 2011. They divorced in early 2013. She was briefly engaged to American talent agent Franklin Latt during a relationship from early 2015 to late 2016. After meeting on the set of Deep Water in late 2019, de Armas dated American actor Ben Affleck from March 2020 to January 2021.
With encouragement from her newly hired Hollywood agent, she decided to move to Los Angeles. When de Armas first arrived in Los Angeles in 2014, she had to start her career again "from scratch." She spoke very little English and, during early auditions, she often "didn't even know what [she] was saying." She spent four months in full-time education to learn English, not wanting to be confined to playing characters written specifically for Latina actresses. She starred opposite Keanu Reeves in her first Hollywood release—Eli Roth's erotic thriller Knock Knock (2015)—and learned her lines phonetically. Despite giving a positive review of the film, Randy Cordova of the Arizona Republic found de Armas to be "unconvincing" in her role. Reeves then telephoned de Armas to invite her to star in a Spanish-language role in the thriller Daughter of God which he acted in and produced. Producer Mark Downie hoped the film would be a star vehicle for de Armas, but due to executive meddling Daughter of God was severely edited with de Armas' former starring role reduced. The film was ultimately released as Exposed in 2016. Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter noted that while she was "appealing" in her part, de Armas was unable to demonstrate her "character's intense emotional demands."
In Denis Villeneuve's futuristic thriller Blade Runner 2049 (2017), de Armas had a supporting role as Joi, the holographic AI girlfriend of Ryan Gosling's character, a blade runner. Mark Kermode of The Guardian said she "brings three-dimensional warmth to a character who is essentially a digital projection." Anthony Lane of The New Yorker found her to be "wondrous": "Whenever Joi appears, the movie's imaginative heart begins to race." While the performance was initially discussed as a breakthrough role, the film underperformed commercially, and de Armas spent much of the following year in her native Cuba, where she purchased a house. Also in 2017, she had a supporting role in the action thriller Overdrive as the love interest to Scott Eastwood's character. Stephen Dalton of The Hollywood Reporter wrote that she "radiates more kick-ass charisma than her thankless sidekick role might suggest."
In 2018, de Armas starred opposite Demián Bichir in John Hillcoat's medical drama Corazón. She played a Dominican woman with heart failure in the short film, funded by Montefiore Medical Center to raise awareness of organ donation. While de Armas's scenes opposite Himesh Patel in the 2019 romantic comedy Yesterday were included in the film's trailer, they were cut from the final product. The director Danny Boyle said that, while de Armas was "really radiant" in her scenes, the introduction of a love triangle subplot did not test well with audiences.
De Armas starred in four films released in the United States in 2020. She had a supporting role in the crime thriller The Informer as the wife of Joel Kinnaman's character. Guy Lodge of Variety found "her thin role all the more glaring in the wake of her Knives Out stardom." She appeared as a femme fatale in the noir crime drama The Night Clerk. Brian Tallerico of RogerEbert.com said the film had "no idea" what to do with her "blinding charisma" while Katie Rife of The AV Club remarked that it would be remembered, "if at all, as a movie de Armas was way too good for." She starred opposite Wagner Moura in the Netflix biopic Sergio (2020) as Carolina Larriera, a U.N. official and the partner of diplomat Sérgio Vieira de Mello. John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter found her "magnetic" while Jessica Kiang of Variety said she imbued the part "with an intelligence and will that makes her more than just de Mello's romantic foil." De Armas reunited with Moura to play the wife of one of the Cuban Five in Olivier Assayas's Netflix spy thriller Wasp Network. The film was shot on location in Cuba; it was de Armas's first work in her home country since leaving as a teenager. Glenn Kenny of The New York Times found her "superb" while Jay Weissberg of Variety described her as "a joyous, bewitching presence whose career seems destined for the big time."
De Armas was born in Havana, Cuba, and raised in the small city of Santa Cruz del Norte. Her maternal grandparents were migrants to Cuba from Spain. Her father Ramón worked in various jobs, including bank manager, teacher, school principal and deputy mayor of a town. He previously studied philosophy at a Soviet university. Her mother Ana worked in the human resources section of the Ministry of Education. De Armas 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.
In 2021, de Armas reunited with Daniel Craig to play a Bond girl in Cary Joji Fukunaga's No Time to Die. Fukunaga wrote the character of a Cuban CIA agent with de Armas in mind. She described the character as bubbly and "very irresponsible". In her short appearance in No Time to Die, her character, Paloma, claimed to have little training but proved to be highly skilled. No Time to Die was a commercial success, grossing $774.2 million worldwide, and earned positive reviews. Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian praised de Armas' "witty and unworldly turn". De Armas starred in Adrian Lyne's erotic thriller Deep Water, based upon the novel by Patricia Highsmith. She and Ben Affleck play a couple in an open marriage. In 2022, De Armas starred in the Russo brothers' Netflix action thriller The Gray Man, alongside Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans. Neither Deep Water nor The Gray Man were particularly successful with critics and audiences.