Jamie Lee Curtis, 63, admitted she thought Ana de Armas, 34, just left her home country of Cuba for the U.S. and was “inexperienced,” when she met her on the set of their film Knives Out in Oct. 2018, in a new interview. “I assumed — and I say this with real embarrassment — because she had come from Cuba, that she had just arrived,” the actress revealed in an interview with Elle magazine.
“I made an assumption that she was an inexperienced, unsophisticated young woman,” she continued.” That first day, I was like, ‘Oh, what are your dreams?’”
Once Jamie got to know Ana, however, she “was so impressed” with her “that she wanted to introduce her to Steven Spielberg to play Maria in West Side Story.” She also said she was going to introduce her to her godchildren, Jake Gyllenhaal and Maggie Gyllenhaal, but was surprised to know Ana already knew Jake. That kind of non-flashy, non name-dropping attitude was apparently part of the charm that impressed Jamie.
“She is not as fancy as maybe the advertisements would have you believe,” the Halloween star explained. “She leans in, interested; talking to her is kind of give-and-take. She’s curious and asks a lot of questions.”
Those memorable impressions of Ana came after she was born in a Cuban beach town before moving to Havana. She went on to sign up for drama school when she was just 14 and acted in three Cuban films before she moved to Spain four years later and starred in several television roles. She eventually moved to Los Angeles, CA when she was 26 and had to start from scratch, even learning English in only three months.
At the time of her first meeting with Jamie, Ana had starred in popular movies like Knock Knock alongside Keanu Reeves, Blade Runner 2049 with Ryan Gosling and War Dogs with Jonah Hill and Miles Teller. She also got a different kind of attention when her former relationship with actor Ben Affleck made her the subject of a lot of media attention, which she wasn’t ready for. “This is not the place for me to be,” she said she told herself, in the same Elle Interview as Jamie. “It became a little bit too much. There’s no escape. There’s no way out.”
Jamie and Ana’s movie, Knives Out, was released in the U.S. on Nov. 27, 2019.