Jamie Lee Curtis 'Assumed' Ana De Armas Was 'Unsophisticated' When They First Met

“I assumed -- and I say this with real embarrassment -- because she had come from Cuba, that she had just arrived," Curtis said of her "Knives Out" co-star.
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Assumptions make an ass out of you, me and Jamie Lee Curtis, apparently.

In a recent Elle magazine cover story about Ana de Armas, the “Halloween” star admitted to feeling “real embarrassment” over her first impression of de Armas, whom she worked alongside in Rian Johnson’s 2019 hit murder mystery “Knives Out.”

Curtis told Elle she made the unfair assumption that her co-star was an “unsophisticated young woman” because she had primarily worked in her native country of Cuba.

“I assumed ― and I say this with real embarrassment ― because she had come from Cuba, that she had just arrived,” Curtis said. “I made an assumption that she was an inexperienced, unsophisticated young woman. That first day, I was like, ‘Oh, what are your dreams?’”

Curtis said she intended to help forge connections between de Armas and other industry folk, including her godchildren Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal and director Steven Spielberg, who she thought might cast de Armas as Maria in his adaptation of “West Side Story.”

Ana de Armas and Jamie Lee Curtis attend the 20th Annual AFI Awards in 2020.
Ana de Armas and Jamie Lee Curtis attend the 20th Annual AFI Awards in 2020.
Michael Kovac via Getty Images

However, de Armas already knew Jake Gyllenhaal, and moreover had appeared in a slew of high-profile projects before she walked onto the “Knives Out” set.

Besides starring in many Cuban and Spanish productions since 2006, de Armas also had roles in films like “Blade Runner 2049,” “War Dogs” and “Knock Knock” ― the last alongside Keanu Reeves, who will co-star in de Armas’ forthcoming “John Wick” spinoff, “Ballerina.”

Curtis realized her error, and the two actors formed a friendship over the course of filming. She told Elle that de Armas is “not as fancy as maybe the advertisements would have you believe.”

“She leans in, interested; talking to her is kind of give-and-take,” Curtis said. “She’s curious and asks a lot of questions.”

The two also bonded over de Armas’ upcoming role in Netflix’s Marilyn Monroe biopic “Blonde,” as Curtis’ father, Tony Curtis, starred alongside the film icon in the 1959 picture “Some Like It Hot.”

“She showed me a picture of her as Marilyn,” Curtis recalled. “It was a couple of still pictures and one video of her moving through space with no audio. But it was so shocking because she was Marilyn.”

Elsewhere in the profile, de Armas herself said she wants to avoid being pigeonholed in Hollywood, and that she hopes to find a balance in the characters she portrays.

“I do want to play Latina,” she told the magazine. “But I don’t want to put a basket of fruit on my head every single time.”

“So that’s my hope, that I can show that we can do anything if we’re given the time to prepare, and if we’re given just the chance, just the chance,” she went on. “You can do any film — ‘Blonde’ — you can do anything. The problem is that sometimes you don’t even get to the room with the director to sit down and prove yourself.”

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