It might surprise you to know that one of Hollywood’s brightest stars – with a Golden Globe nomination under her belt, a Bond girl role on the horizon and an A-list boyfriend on her arm – spent her lockdown much like the rest of us: in elasticated waists.
‘[My style is] definitely more relaxed – I’ve been wearing my sweatpants more often’ admits Ana de Armas of her 2020 wardrobe (although it shouldn't be that surprising, red carpets have gone AWOL or been unrecognisable in the past few months). Not caring about what she wears has left her space to consider the things that really matter. ‘I’ve been less focused on my style and have been paying more attention to all of the things happening in the world’. In a year where fashion has had to wake up, that's something we can all identify with.
Still, glamour is inevitable for an A-lister, and for her latest role, as the face of the Natural Diamond Council’s new campaign, de Armas has found a happy space where she can embrace it with a meaningful message. ‘I wanted to work with the Natural Diamond Council because I’m really passionate about all of the good work they do in the mining communities around the world,' she explains. 'Their focus is on sustainable economic empowerment for the communities where diamonds are mined and they are committed to seeing that real, lasting benefits endure for those communities long after they are gone. I especially love how they empower and support women in the diamond industry as well—often in communities where it is harder for women to find paying jobs and where they have historically been disenfranchised. Of course, it was also so amazing to be representing such impressive and sustainable pieces of jewellery.’
The campaign is also a celebration of the new casual spirit with which diamonds can be worn (yes, even with sweatpants) – life is short, why save them for best? ‘Diamonds can be worn anytime to celebrate the happy moments, big or small,’ says de Armas. ‘And I think it’s important not to think that diamonds have to be big or showy. The pieces that I own, and often feel most comfortable wearing are small. They are not showy for the sake of letting people see I own a diamond, they are small lovely accents that you might not even notice until you look twice. Small and precious and beautiful and they remind me of moments and friends in my life that will live forever, like the diamonds themselves’.
Although she might have her pick of whopping rocks for the red carpet, De Armas also ‘finds joy in the little things – my every day luxuries are a cup of coffee in the morning with condensed milk, a walk with my pups Elvis and Salsa, or a relaxing yoga session’.
She might need to stock up on those yoga sessions, as this November sees the release of one of this year’s most highly anticipated films, the latest Bond instalment (and Daniel Craig’s final outing as 007), No Time To Die in which de Armas plays Paloma, a CIA agent. ‘I was attracted to Paloma for so many reasons,’ says De Armas of the role. ‘She’s such a dynamic character. She has a mission of her own and intersects with Bond so they can help each other. She’s funny, strong and complex. I was really excited to play a woman in a Bond film that didn’t need saving’.
Still, one thing does remain predictable about the film: knockout stunts and an equally killer wardrobe. De Armas had just three weeks to prepare for the role, working closely with the stunt team to help get into Paloma’s mindset. While training she also collaborated with director Cary Fukunaga and costume designer Suttirat Anne Larlarb ‘to find a look that was just right. We tried a bunch of different things, and then found the stunning navy dress and we knew that was the one. It was the perfect look,’ she says. ‘And it worked with the stunts!’ The right dress – just like the right diamonds – really can work with everything.