Ana de Armas Talks Latina Representation in James Bond
New Bond Girl and proud Latina Ana de Armas says "you can tell there’s a shift going on" in Hollywood.
Ana de Armas has made it clear that she'll be playing a very different kind of Bond girl in the upcoming 007 film No Time to Die. And though we don't know much about her character Paloma yet, the 31-year-old Cuban-Spanish actress talked to Remezcla recently about how Paloma defies expectations, what the movie means for Latina representation in Hollywood, and how it empowers women across the board.
"There are amazing Bond women who we're now following in their steps, but as you can tell, there's a shift going on," De Armas said. "Our producers understand the situation and the world and what needs to be changed. They want to keep moving. They're aware of how many people follow this franchise."
De Armas said that No Time to Die maintains "the core and essence of what a James Bond movie is" and will retain all the "fantasy and glamour of that universe" that fans have come to expect throughout the franchise's nearly 60-year history. But she also noted that there are "changes happening," specifically "representation of a black woman and a Latina in these movies."
The black female agent De Armas mentioned is played by Lashana Lynch, 32. And the fact that the Emmy-winning writer of Fleabag, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, was brought on to give the script some more female perspective is the icing on the cake.
"I think she wrote or developed [all] my scenes," De Armas told Remezcla of Waller-Bridge. "It was all these things happening that are really, really exciting and it feels like we're doing the same but new."
This is hardly the first time that De Armas has been vocal about the significance of Latinx representation in Hollywood. She nearly turned down the role of Marta Cabrera in 2019's Knives Out because the character was described as a "pretty Latin caretaker," and she didn't want to contribute to negative Latinx stereotypes. Once she read the script and realized Cabrera was a central figure in the murder mystery plot, she decided to consider the role, won the part and earned the creative license to add nuance to the character who ultimately won her so much praise (and a Golden Globe nomination).
The need for better Latinx representation in Hollywood has come to the forefront in recent years. An Aug. 2019 report from the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, the National Association of Latino Independent Producers, and Wise Entertainment found that, out of the 100 top grossing movies from 2007 to 2018, only 3 percent featured Latinx leads or co-leads, and only 4.5 percent of all speaking characters were Latinx.
De Armas is one of a group of rising stars trying to change that. The Walking Dead actress Christian Serratos, who will be playing Selena Quintanilla-Pérez in the upcoming Netflix biopic series Selena, has also talked about her desire to better represent the Latinx community on screen.
"I love holding it down for the Latinas," she told Entertainment Tonight in 2019. "There's a few, but there's not many Latin women in comics and I think it's probably a bucket list thing for me [to play her]."
For her part, De Armas is looking forward to both representing Latinx people and giving them something to enjoy with No Time to Die. "We have things to say and a community to support," she told Remezcla. "We have a responsibility, but we're also artists. … Hopefully people will love it and learn something from it."