How Ana de Armas redefines the ‘Bond Girl’ in ‘No Time To Die’ (2024)

Think about it —when did “No Time To Die” star Ana de Armas first appear on your radar?

If you’re a horror fan, you might have caught the Cuban actress playing an avenging seducer in Eli Roth’s nasty thriller “Knock Knock” in 2015, opposite Keanu Reeves. Sci-fi lovers will recall her as Ryan Gosling’s ethereal hologram-girlfriend, Joi, in “Blade Runner 2049.”

You might also know her from her much-photographed walks with Ben Affleck during the pandemic; the two actors, who met while filming the not-yet-released thriller “Deep Water,” dated very publicly for nearly a year. The quarantine-era relationship ended in an absurdist flourish, with a cardboard cutout of de Armas being thrown into the trash outside Affleck’s building after she reportedly dumped him.

But it’s safe to say de Armas’ role as a CIA agent named Paloma in the new James Bond moviefinally coming out Friday — will raise her profile significantly. De Armas’ character is one of three significant female characters in the film, alongside Lashana Lynch’sagent Nomi and Léa Seydoux as Bond’s girlfriend Madeleine Swann; Paloma teams up with Bond on a mission in Havana, where the two banter suggestively whilefighting bad guys. The actress brings a light, comic touch to her scenes with Craig — her character claims to have only three weeks of training despite her expert combat skills.


Although the term “Bond girl” is still kicking around — and her character sees a lot of fighting action wearing an implausibly low-cut gown — the 33-year-old actress has made it clear her character is a modern update on the franchise’s retro trope. “I think this movie is ‘Bond women,’ not so much ‘Bond girls.’ They’re highly skilled, they’re powerful [and] they all show it in their own way. They’re equals to Bond,” de Armas told CNN.


De Armas attended her native Cuba’s National Art Schools before using dual Spanish citizenship via her grandparents to move to Madrid at 18 to pursue acting. After making a splash in the Spanish series “El Internado” (“Boarding School”), she leapt to Hollywood and paid her dues with a series of obligatory girlfriend parts (see “Blade Runner 2049” among others). Initially, because she didn’t speak English, she learned her lines phonetically.

Even in small roles, though, she gave nuanced performances that made viewers — and her A-list co-stars — take notice. Reeves reflected about re-teaming with his “Knock Knock” colleague in the 2016 thriller “Exposed,” reportedly saying: “I only have one scene with her at the end of the picture, which was great, but I wish we’d had more. In the story she’s bringing such emotion, depth, comedy, warmth, love, energy and tragedy. It’s such a great role and Ana is the actress for it, because she can produce all those colors and bring that to the screen.”

De Armas finally scored a breakout lead role in 2019’s “Knives Out,” the star-studded whodunit comedy (whose cast included Bond himself, Daniel Craig). Her role as Marta Cabrera led to a Best Actress Golden Globe nomination, but she initially balked at the part, which was described in the script as “a pretty Latina caretaker.”


That nutshell “just really didn’t speak to me,” she told the Hollywood Reporter. “Latinas rarely exist at the center of a film, especially not in the context that we have in this movie. So, because of the character description, my imagination immediately went to a portrayal that was not necessarily very positive or exciting in relation to Latin culture.” When she finished the script, though, she realized how much her character transcended those stereotypes, and signed on.

That savvy choice of roles, and the awards attention it brought, has made her the kind of star directorswill do anything to have in their films. Recently, a promotional video for “No Time To Die” included de Armas’ revelation that director Cary Joji f*ckunaga essentially created the role of Paloma to get de Armas in the film: “This character, I think it didn’t exist in the film. It was just [through] talking to Cary that he really wanted me in the movie. And they just made it happen. So I was in the conversation a long time before it became real,” she says in a video, as reported by CinemaBlend.

Next year could be an even better one for de Armas fans. “Deep Water,” the psychological thriller in which she co-stars with Affleck, is set to be released in January; she’s also starring alongside Chris Evans, Gosling and Regé-Jean Page in “The Gray Man,” a spy movie from “Avengers: Endgame” directors Anthony and Joe Russo.


But her defining film next year may be “Blonde,” the Netflix film in which she’ll play Marilyn Monroe in an adaptation of the Joyce Carol Oates novel. When she saw herself as Monroe for the first time, “I cried,” she told Allure. “It was a big, big deal for me. It was a very important role for me, a big challenge, something that I was preparing for a very long time — and to finally sit in the chair and put the wig and makeup on … it was very special. I completely transformed.”

She’s also, notably, the first Latina actress to play Marilyn. As she told the Hollywood Reporter: “All this time and effort, holding my ground and staying true to this belief that I have about finding more positive roles is paying off.”

How Ana de Armas redefines the ‘Bond Girl’ in ‘No Time To Die’ (2024)


What was the point of Paloma in No Time to Die? ›

She works together with Bond to infiltrate the party which is being held in the bar, though it turns out to secretly be a trap to capture and kill Bond.

How did Ana de Armas get cast in No Time to Die? ›

Reportedly, James Bond actor Daniel Craig personally hand-picked Cuban actress Ana de Armas to play Paloma in 'No Time to Die' (2021) after working with her on 'Knives Out' (2019), which first released about only four months before 'No Time to Die' (2021) was originally meant to released.

Is Mathilde Bond's daughter? ›

Severely wounded, he climbs a ladder to the roof and calls Madeleine to tell her he loves her. Bond and Madeleine Swann bring us on an emotional rollercoaster. "You have all the time in the world," he says. "She does have your eyes," she responds, confirming that Mathilde is his daughter.

What does Ana de Armas wear in No Time to Die? ›

The character Paloma, played by Ana de Armas, wears a Michael Lo Sordo Alexandra Silk/Satin Gown in... In No Time To Die, James Bond's Tom Ford Tuxedo is presented to him in a Bennett Winch The S.C.... Costume designer Jany Temime has created the sparkling dress for Severine (played by Bérénice...

What was her secret in No Time to Die? ›

However, it later becomes clear that her oft-alluded to secret is actually a daughter who lives with her in the same secluded cabin in which she grew up in Norway. The reveal of Madeleine's daughter is especially shocking, considering the numerous references made to her secret by some of the film's major villains.

What was Safin's motive? ›

As such, he became obsessed with getting revenge against Spectre. Determined to ensure that the entire organisation must be destroyed and that all of its members (including Blofeld and White) must die, Safin grew up to become a wanted terrorist.

How much was Ana de Armas paid for No Time to Die? ›

Not much is known about Ana de Armas' payday for No Time to Die. However, it has been reported that de Armas was paid $70,000 for her small yet memorable role in the Bond flick. While that's certainly a lot less than the reported $25 million salary Daniel Craig received, it's still good money for the exciting role.

Who is the new Bond Girl in No Time to Die? ›

No Time To Die ends the "Bond Girl" trope with its other two major female characters. Nomi (Lashana Lynch) is the first black and the first female 00 agent depicted in the Bond film franchise, assuming the title of 007 following Bond's retirement.

Was James Bond supposed to be a woman? ›

But there was always enough ambiguity in Ian Fleming's character that meant M could be played by any gender. The truth is that James Bond is a male character, and can only be played by a man.

Did Vesper betray Bond? ›

No Time to Die honored the original "Bond Girl" of the Craig Era, Vesper Lynd. Vesper may have betrayed Bond, but she was an essential character. Bond's love for Vesper represents a huge change for the iconic spy.

Did Bond love Vesper or Madeline? ›

Madeleine is the first and so far the only woman that Bond has truly fallen in love with and survived any of her appearances. The other two women whom Bond fell in love with, Tracy and Vesper, were both killed at the end of their first film. Madeleine references Vesper by name in No Time to Die.

Which Bond girl appeared twice? ›

Maud Adams (born Maud Solveig Christina Wikström; 12 February 1945) is a Swedish actress and model, known for her roles as two different Bond girls, first in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) and then as the title character in Octopuss* (1983), as well as making many other appearances in both films and television ...

Who dressed Daniel Craig in No Time to Die? ›

“No Time To Die” Costume Designer Suttirat Anne Larlarb on Dressing Bond's Allies & Adversaries. In part one of our conversation with No Time To Die costume designer Suttirat Anne Larlarb, we focused on the tall order of outfitting Daniel Craig for his fifth and final assignment as James Bond.

Who is the baddie in No Time to Die? ›

No Time To Die has Craig back as Bond one last time, taking on villain Lyutsifer Safin, played with quiet menace by Rami Malek.

How long is Ana de Armas in James Bond? ›

Story highlights. Ana De Armas famously appeared in Daniel Craig`s final Bond film, 'No Time to Die,' in which she had a meagre five minutes of screen time despite being heavily publicised as a star in the 2021 movie. Hollywood star Ana de Armas is setting the records straight.

Did Madeleine betray Bond? ›

Blofeld reveals to James that Swann had never betrayed him -- in fact, Blofeld framed her. Swann then returns to her childhood home in Norway, where it was that she first encountered Safin. Bond tracks her to the house, expressing his regret for having pushed her out of his life.

What was Safin's goal in No Time to Die? ›

He was a terrorist leader and scientist motivated to take down the criminal organisation SPECTRE for the deaths of his family at the hands of assassin Mr. White. Portrayed by American actor Rami Malek.

What is the aqueduct in No Time to Die? ›

Ponte Viadotto in Gravina, Puglia, Italy

The above-mentioned Roman aqueduct bridge in Gravina, Puglia, plays host to Bond leaping off the bridge and swinging off it from a rope in No Time To Die (2021).

What was in the vile at the end of No Time to Die? ›

In their brawling Safin infects him with a vial which has been programmed to Madeleine and Mathilde's DNA, meaning that even if he were to somehow make it off the island in the less than 9 minutes before the nuclear hit, the nanobots that would kill them both are now permanently inside of him.


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