Underneath the tweed and suspenders of Benoit Blanc, Daniel Craig was already training and prepping for Bond when Knives Out (2019) began filming in Boston, MA.
Speaking to the LA Times Ana de Armas said she had no idea she’d be joining him until she received a surprise phone call from writer-director Cary Fukunaga, whom she’d previously met for a project that never came to fruition.
Fukunaga said, “Part of the movie takes place in Cuba. This role doesn’t exist, but I think I’m going to write something for you. Do you want to do it?” In adition to the being offered a custom tailored Bond role, known simply as Paloma, Emmy Award-winning writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge would write her dialogue.
Despite her excitement at the opportunity, de Armas first asked to read the script before accepting the role. To de Armas, Bond girls of the years gone by, never felt relatable, but with Paloma, the character felt real.
De Armas says, “I wouldn’t say she’s ordinary, because when she needs to perform her job, she does. “But [she] is flawed. She says what she feels, she’s nervous, she’s scared. It’s human. When I read it, I was like, ‘Oh, wait — I can be a Bond girl. I’m that. I’m that messy.’ That’s what felt so attractive, on top of what she’s actually doing in the story, which is another step toward giving women a more powerful and strong place in the films.”
Speaking on his Knives Out co-star, Daniel Craig says, “She’s just a really good actress — there’s not much more to it. She’s got the chops. She can do it all. And it’s about time people sat up and noticed,” he said, “The performance she gives in this is remarkable, and amidst all the chaos of the scene-chewing and all that’s going on in the movie, she has this consistency — and she’s very funny because of it. But she’s the heart and soul of it, and it’s a real achievement. The scenes with her and Christopher Plummer are heartbreaking. They’re beautiful. And to have that within the movie is just a testament to her skills as an actor.”