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Why Andrea From The Night Clerk Looks So Familiar

After not making much of a splash when it debut to Video On Demand in February, The Night Clerk arrived on Netflix on June 6 and quickly started climbing the charts on the streamer. The story follows Bart (Tye Sheridan), a young man with Asperger's syndrome who works at the front desk of a hotel. His life is thrown into chaos when he accidentally witnesses a murder he's unable to explain, and quickly becomes the police's top suspect.

Things are made considerably more complicated for Bart when he meets Andrea, the movie's femme fatale. Although she seems like a potential ally, it becomes clear that Andrea has an agenda of her own that may put Bart in considerable danger. She is played with icy precision by Cuban actress Ana de Armas.

If you watched The Night Clerk and thought de Armas looked familiar, that's because the actress has been making a huge splash in the American film market over the past few years. From her early breakout role to her later critical successes, we're going to take a look at some of de Armas' most notable movies.

Ana de Armas got stuck in the girlfriend role in War Dogs

After many successful years as a TV and movie star in Spain, de Armas made the leap to Hollywood in the mid-2010s. One of her earliest English language roles was in Joker director Todd Phillip's 2016 political crime comedy War Dogs. She starred alongside Miles Teller, Jonah Hill, and Bradly Cooper as Iz, the girlfriend of Teller's character.

The film was adapted from a Rolling Stone article by Guy Lawson titled "The Stoner Arms Dealers," which recounts the story of two unassuming young American men who manage to secure a lucrative contract from the U.S. Department of Defense to sell ammunition to the Afghan National Army. Needless to say, things don't turn out well for anybody involved. The film presented a very fictionalized account of their real-life story.

When the movie was released, it received a very mixed critical reception. Of the many issues critics had with the film, the lack of development for de Armas' character was frequently cited as a major problem. Barry Hertz at The Globe and Mail pointed out that de Armas was "given little to do but pout." Meanwhile, Peter Bradshaw at The Guardian described the role as "deeply boring," and Matt Zoller Seitz at RogerEbert.com said that de Armas' part was "barely-developed."

Thankfully for de Armas, there were many juicier parts in her future.

Ana de Armas went digital in Blade Runner 2049

A year later, de Armas got her big breakout role in Denis Villeneuve's acclaimed sequel, Blade Runner 2049. She plays an AI hologram named Joi, the girlfriend of protagonist K (Ryan Gosling) who is in the process of understanding what it means to have her own identity and agency. Ironically, the actress had substantially more to work with playing a computer program than she did in War Dogs.

In addition to her sensitive performance, de Armas was featured extensively in the film's advertising campaign. When the movie was released, it was met with widespread critical praise. The way the character of Joi was handled in the movie was hotly debated. For her part, de Armas saw the role as deeply emotional.

In an interview with the El Paso Times, de Armas described what she took away from the part. "What I loved about the character was she was meant to satisfy people's needs in a specific way," she explained. "I don't want to give away the movie. She shows she had much more to offer than what was expected. She shows more compassion and love and sacrifice than anybody else [in the movie]."

Ana de Armas wowed critics in Knives Out

If Blade Runner 2049 was Ana de Armas' big Hollywood break, then Rian Johnson's modern take on the whodunit genre, Knives Out, was her introduction as a major talent. While much of the promotional material for the film highlights the cavalcade of stars in its cast — Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, and Chris Evans, among others — it's de Armas who is the films' anchor. As Marta, the compassionate caretaker to a murdered mystery novelist, she reveals herself as the only character in the ensemble truly worth rooting for.

Critics lauded her performance, and de Armas was nominated for a Golden Globe award for her efforts. This is all the more remarkable considering that she almost didn't even bother auditioning for the movie. She told Vanity Fair that the description for the character she originally received said of Marta only that she was a "caretaker, Latina, and pretty."

The actress described how that, understandably, almost led to her not even reading the script. "For a Latina in a setup like this, with a wealthy family and this cast, all I thought was, What am I going to do here?" she recalled. "I'll probably be standing in a corner, not having much to say."

Fortunately, the role was far more than met the eye. Following the success of Knives Out, de Armas now has an impressive slate of films on the horizon, including the upcoming James Bond film No Time to Die and Blonde, in which she'll be playing Marilyn Monroe.