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Why Paloma From No Time To Die Looks So Familiar

Has there ever been a more exciting time to be a James Bond fan? No Time to Die, the 25th installment in the franchise, will mark the fifth and last time Daniel Craig appears in the role, and where the franchise plans to head after that is a delightful mystery. What we do know, however, is that women will be stronger than ever in No Time to Die. Apart from Léa Seydoux and Naomie Harris returning as Dr. Madeleine Swann and Eve Moneypenny, the movie features Lashana Lynch as the 00-agent Nomi, as well as Ana de Armas as the CIA agent Paloma.      

We've already met Seydoux's and Harris' characters, and the very fact that Nomi boasts a 00-status means that she's going to be the exact opposite of a pushover. In addition, the movie's trailers make it clear that de Armas' Paloma is a capable, combat-ready CIA agent who's far from simple eye candy. The actress has an impressive history of playing roles that defy expectation and require a wide range of acting ability. In fact, even if you can't quite place where you've seen her before, there's a pretty good chance that she's already impressed you with her previous work. Here's why Paloma from No Time to Die looks so familiar.

Ana de Armas tormented Keanu Reeves in Knock Knock

The Cuban-born Ana de Armas cut her acting teeth on the Spanish teen drama El Internado and appeared in several Spanish-speaking movies. In recent years, she's quietly become one of Hollywood's coolest rising stars. She entered the Stateside cinema with a bang, shooting two back-to-back movies opposite none other than Keanu Reeves. Her first major English-language movie role was Eli Roth's 2015 erotic horror film Knock Knock, in which she teamed up with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood's Lorenza Izzo to torment and abuse poor Reeves' character in increasingly inventive ways.

In an interview with Screen Rant, de Armas revealed that playing a villain was highly entertaining. "It was so much fun just going from little girls to pure psycho," she said. She also revealed that she and Izzo went a little bit method with the poor John Wick star. "Keanu is shy and feels uncomfortable," she said in describing shooting a particularly intimate scene. "He's not open about talking about his life, in general. So, we were really pushing him to the limit, playing with him and touching him and whispering things to him before the scene. He was REALLY uncomfortable. It really worked."

Reeves probably wasn't too shocked by de Armas' commitment, because the pair rejoined forces in the 2016 Lionsgate thriller Exposed. Unfortunately, the movie is considered one of Reeves' worst movies. The source material focused largely on de Armas' character, Isabel de La Cruz, but the studio opted to alter the movie heavily in post-production, making Reeves' Detective Scott Galban the focal point. 

Ana de Armas was Iz in War Dogs

In 2016, de Armas also appeared in a significant role in director Todd Phillips' biographical crime comedy War Dogs. The movie told the story of Efraim Diveroli (Jonah Hill) and David Packouz (Miles Teller), two hustlers who became increasingly involved in the arms trade. De Armas played David's long-suffering girlfriend, Iz, who was frustrated with his constant excuses and lies. 

Per Orange Magazine, de Armas was cast for the role after a lengthy audition process that saw many actresses read for the part. Phillips, however, says that de Armas made an immediate impression. "[...] When Ana came in, it was like, 'Whoa, that's the one,'" the director recalled of her audition. "She's a wonderful actress and when you look at her, she expresses so much emotion just in her eyes."

De Armas, in turn, respects Phillips at least as much as the director admires her. "Todd is very smart and what I find so remarkable about him is his ability to put movies together that connect so well with audiences," the actress said of the experience of working with Phillips. "On the set, he knows what he wants and when you feel that confidence in your director, who is the person telling you what he's looking for, it's amazing. He spends time with you rehearsing, so when you hear 'Action,' you know what to do. And then you have the freedom to play around because you have the foundation of the scene."

Ana de Armas was Joi in Blade Runner 2049

Very few sci-fi fans and film buffs were able to miss de Armas in 2017, when she had a (sometimes literally) massive role in Blade Runner 2049. Denis Villeneuve's highly-anticipated sequel to Blade Runner starred Ryan Gosling as the Nexus-9 model replicant "Blade Runner" known as K, Harrison Ford as the returning Blade Runner veteran Rick Deckard, Jared Leto as Wallace Corporation CEO Niander Wallace, and de Armas in the significant role of Joi, a Wallace Corporation-manufactured holographic artificial intelligence and K's virtual girlfriend. 

Though "Joi" was actually an entire product line of attractive AI companions, K's particular unit very much fit the themes of the Blade Runner franchise, as she was a strong character and the movie kept dropping hints that she may very well have grown beyond her programming. The role was rather revealing and the production was intimidatingly massive, but de Armas told Harper's Bazaar that Villeneuve and the rest of the team made the experience quite pleasant. "Denis created such a comfortable, healthy and safe environment for all of us that I never thought about it that way," she said about the male-dominated set and the possibility of encountering sexism. "And Ryan, our lead actor, made it exactly the same. They are great stars onscreen, but on human levels, they are just as wonderful, and I always felt very respected and valued."

Ana de Armas and Daniel Craig already met in Knives Out

Acting opposite Daniel Craig in No Time to Die won't be de Armas' first rodeo with the James Bond actor. In 2019, the pair joined forces in Rian Johnson's delightful mystery comedy Knives OutIn an all-star ensemble cast of Hollywood legends like Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson and Christopher Plummer, de Armas stole the show with her role as Marta Cabrera, mystery writer Harlan Thrombey's (Plummer) humble nurse who becomes an instrumental figure in a murder mystery for the ages. The industry recognized her stellar performance with a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical or Comedy.

Luckily for movie fans, it appears that de Armas' career trajectory continues to be upwardly mobile. Apart from No Time to Die, she's currently set to appear in at least two projects. The actress will star opposite Ben Affleck in the legendary thriller director Adrian Lyne's (Jacob's Ladder, Fatal Attraction) latest foray in the genre, Deep Water. In 2021, she'll tackle perhaps the juiciest role of her career so far when she plays Marilyn Monroe in the film version of Joyce Carol Oates' Blonde. Yeah, it's probably safe to say that you'll hear a whole lot more from de Armas in the future.