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Ana de Armas Was a Red Carpet Star Before She Arrived in Hollywood

Ana de Armas at Bond premiere.
Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

The Cuba-born actress Ana de Armas has only come to the attention of the American masses in recent years thanks to films like Knives Out, her lockdown-era romantic interlude with Ben Affleck, and one very devoted fan-run Twitter account. She’ll reach new heights later this year as the next Bond Girl in No Time to Die and, even more intriguingly, as Marilyn Monroe in the long-anticipated adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’s Pulitzer Prize-finalist novel Blonde.

But the 33-year-old actress has been walking red carpets for far longer than you probably realize. Before finding Hollywood success, she moved to Spain at 18 years old and started getting parts within two weeks of arriving. She starred in the popular teen drama El Internado for six seasons as well as several Spanish-language films. After a few years of keeping it relatively casual on the red carpet, de Armas started stepping into her glam. She was a favorite attendee at fashion events in Madrid and started cutting her teeth on the international film festival circuit before she arrived in Hollywood. Style-wise, she doesn’t shy away from making a statement, though she never goes too loud, either. De Armas has already attended the Golden Globes and two Vanity Fair Oscar parties—one gets a distinct feeling, however, that her biggest red carpet moments have yet to come. Invites to events like the Oscars or the Met Gala can’t be too far off.

2021: No Time To Die Premiere
Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Ana de Armas’s first red carpet appearance in 20 months was a big one: the long-delayed premiere of James Bond flick No Time To Die. In the film, de Armas steps into the role of Bond Girl as a CIA agent named Paloma, but on the red carpet, she stepped into a custom Louis Vuitton gown with a dramatic leg slip.

We’re not sure if de Armas was intentionally trying to channel some of the energy of Princess Diana’s infamous “revenge dress” (members of the royal family were on hand for the premiere), but it would be apt. This also marks her first major red carpet since she ended a certain relationship with an A-list actor who has since very publically rekindled things with an iconic ex.

2020: Golden Globes
Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Moët and Chandon

For her first big American awards show, de Armas wore a deep blue Ralph & Russo gown.

2019: Knives Out London Premiere
Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage

Knives: out. Alexandre Vauthier Haute Couture: worn. De Armas had been around the Hollywood circuit by this point, but Rian Johnson’s surprise hit Knives Out helped cement her as a true star in America.

2018: Vanity Fair Oscars Party
Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

This was her second Vanity Fair Oscars party, but her first back as a brunette. She chose a red Dolce & Gabbana gown for the event.

2017: Blade Runner 2048 Press Conference Screening
Photo by Jun Sato/WireImage

Dressed in Proenza Schouler for this Blade Runner 2048 event, de Armas clearly had begun to familiarize herself with American designers.

2017: Bottega Veneta Show
Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

Attending a Bottega Veneta show in New York, de Armas had caught the attention of the worldwide fashion community by 2017.

2017: Vanity Fair Oscars Party
Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagi

De Armas’s first big Hollywood blockbuster Blade Runner 2048 didn’t do as well as expected, but in this glittering Elie Saab dress with wavy blonde hair at the Vanity Fair Oscars party, she was fully inhabiting Hollywood glamour of the highest order.

2016: Cannes Film Festival
Photo by Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Did you know that Ana de Armas did a movie with Usher that premiered at Cannes? No? Well, here she is on the red carpet with him.

2015: Sundance Film Festival
Photo by Ray Tamarra/GC Images

This was the year de Armas made her American debut, and while the Sundance Film Festival is notoriously casual, de Armas still kept her style quotient high.

2014: Por Un Puñado de Besos Premiere
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Attending the premiere of Por Un Puñado de Besos, de Armas looked almost bridal in a white gown with floral embellishment around the waist.

2014: Malaga Film Festival
Photo by Carlos R. Alvarez/WireImage

Now blonde, by the time de Armas was attending the premiere of Dioses y Perros at the Malaga Film Festival 2014, she had cemented herself as a red carpet professional.

2014: Malaga Film Festival
Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

In fact, she had multiple gowns for the event.

2012: GQ Spain Event
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At GQ Spain’s Man of the Year awards, de Armas coordinated with actress Barbara Goenaga in black gowns and colorful jackets.

2012: Margiela for H&M Event
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Best red carpet moment? Okay, we understand it’s debatable, but de Armas in Maison Martin Margiela for H&M long before she came to Hollywood’s attention is still something of a notable fashion artifact.

2012: Madrid Skyfall Premiere
Photo by Eduardo Parra/Getty Images)

At the 2012 Madrid premiere of Skyfall, de Armas walked the red carpet as a local celebrity with no idea she’d one day become a Bond girl in her own right. Perhaps this glittering dress helped seal her fate.

2011: La Voz Dormida Premiere
Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/WireImage

At the premiere of La Voz Dormida at Madrid’s Capitol Cinema on October 20, 2011 in Madrid, Spain, de Armas opted for a simple but chic black and white outfit.

2010: Despicable Me Photocall at San Sebastian Film Festival
Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

Back in 2010, de Armas provided the Spanish-dubbed voice for the Despicable Me character Margo (voiced by Miranda Cosgrove in the English version). Don’t let the Minions distract from the fact de Armas has started stepping into her own style-wise at this point and has grown comfortable with prints.

2009: Mentiras y Gordas Premiere
Photo by Fotonoticias/WireImage

The film Mentiras y Gordas was de Armas’s biggest release at the time, but she was still keeping things relatively casual with a jumpsuit and nude heels.

2009: Fotogramas Magazine Cinema Awards
Photo by Fotonoticias/WireImage

At a 2009 awards ceremony in Madrid, de Armas stepped out in a gown, but still kept things relatively simple.

2008: Belstaff Botique Opening
Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Image

At the opening of a Belstaff boutique in Madrid in 2008, de Armas isn’t quite the glam goddess we’d eventually come to know, but the stars of American teen shows at the time were dressing almost exactly like this for events, too.

2008: OK! Magazine Spain Launch
Photo by Eduardo Parra/FilmMagic

Freshly famous in Spain, de Armas attended a tabloid launch party in Madrid in a gold mini-dress.