Playing a “vibrant independent woman” in Netflix’s latest action blockbuster The Gray Man required a working process, which Ana de Armas says familiarised the actor with her strengths.
Directed by Hollywood’s popular filmmaker duo Joe Russo and Anthony Russo, The Gray Man features De Armas in the role of Agent Dani Miranda, a character she defines as someone who is “highly intelligent and sensitive”.
“It was a working process. When I started training, the preparation for this film was quite long to my advantage. I think I started learning about myself, what I was best at and what were my strengths,” the 34-year-old actor told PTI in a virtual roundtable interview.
The film is an adaptation of Mark Greaney’s 2009 novel of the same name, which centres on CIA mercenary spy Sierra Six (Ryan Gosling) who accidentally uncovers dark agency secrets and becomes a primary target of his former colleague Lloyd Hansen (Chris Evans) and other international assassins.
Dani becomes an unexpected ally to Six and saves him on more than one occasion in high-octane action sequences. To look the part, Ana de Armas said she spent a lot of time understanding both the physical and emotional aspects of her character.
“The Russos were not with me on training, so I would keep them posted about what I felt more comfortable doing, what was good and what was not. We started building the character that way and put more into the movie which I was good at,” she added.
As part of her preparation, the Cuban-Spanish star also got the opportunity to connect with a real-life CIA agent. “She (Dani) works at the office, but she’s also in the field. So, it is a rare crossover happening there. I just wanted to have both sides of it, the physical and that hardcore military training and background. So, this character came into life in an organic and collaborative way,” she said.
Ana De Armas is no stranger to action movies, courtesy her stint in the latest James Bond film No Time To Die. But The Gray Man was a rare experience, the actor said, as she never went through such rigorous physical training for a film.
“At the beginning, I didn’t know what was going to happen. I hadn’t gone to this extent of training before. I just didn’t know how I was going to respond or my body was going to respond to this.” Summing up the time she spent on creating Dani, De Armas said she loved everything about her on-screen persona.
“I just loved all of it about her. It wasn’t just about physical strength. It was also the psychological side and at the same time the human side of her. The film shows how flexible she is in adapting to the situation,” she said.
The Gray Man has been adapted for screen by the Russo Brothers along with frequent collaborators Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus.
The film also features Indian superstar Dhanush in a pivotal role alongside Billy Bob Thornton, Rege Jean-Page and Jessica Henwick.
Produced by the Russos and Mike Larocca via AGBO and Roth Kirschenbaum’s Joe Roth, Jeff Kirschenbaum and Chris Castaldi, the movie premiered on Netflix last week.