It’s a confidence that de Armas herself seems to embody. Accepted into Cuba’s prestigious National Theater School (which enrolls just 12 new students a year) at age 14, the Havana native soaked in the creative environment, studying everything from puppetry to sonnets, and graduated four years later with enough moxie to move to Spain on her own, where she spent the next few years on the Spanish film and television circuit before deciding that moving to the U.S. was the best way to land opportunities that would challenge her in the next phase of her career. Soon after, she landed her first starring role in the darkly erotic horror movie Knock Knock, and suddenly found herself burying Keanu Reeves alive. “I can’t even say it’s been a dream come true because I never thought any of this would happen,” de Armas says of her sudden Hollywood clout.
In addition to War Dogs, de Armas can be seen in Hands of Stone, an operatic biopic of Panamanian boxer Roberto Duran (she plays Duran’s wife). De Armas calls the experience “the best time of my life.” Her parents, who still call Havana home, have yet to grasp that their daughter is on the cusp of stardom. “When I call my parents and tell them I got a role, they don’t always understand the magnitude of it—like, I might have to remind them who Keanu Reeves is—but they’re just so happy I got a job,” she says. Before she gets back to that job, de Armas is heading to her home near the beach for some quality time with her couch. Before she goes, could she spare at least one morsel of info about Blade Runner 2? She smiles and says, “It’s the future. Anything could happen.”
Jacket by A.P.C., brooch by Chanel. Hair: Suave Professionals. Celebrity Stylist: Marcus Francis at Starworks Artists. Colorist: George Papanikolas. Makeup: Melanie Inglessis at Forward Artists.