Jamie Lee Curtis Feels 'Real Embarrassment' Over What She Assumed About Ana de Armas When They Met

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Jamie Lee Curtis and Ana de Armas
Jamie Lee Curtis and Ana de Armas

Vera Anderson/WireImage; Ray Tamarra/Getty

Jamie Lee Curtis is recalling her first impression of Ana de Armas.

The two both starred in the 2019 ensemble film Knives Out, which was de Armas' big breakout project, leading to parts in No Time to Die, The Gray Man and as Marilyn Monroe in the upcoming Blonde. In a new ELLE cover story about de Armas, Curtis said she thought her Cuban-born costar, now 34, was an "unsophisticated young woman" at first.

"I assumed — and I say this with real embarrassment — because she had come from Cuba, that she had just arrived. I made an assumption that she was an inexperienced, unsophisticated young woman," Curtis told ELLE. "That first day, I was like, 'Oh, what are your dreams?' "

Curtis quickly became impressed by de Armas on set, however.

She said of de Armas' personality, "She 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. She's curious and asks a lot of questions."

De Armas talks about Cuba and diversity in Hollywood during the ELLE interview. She moved to Los Angeles at 26 after having done a few Cuban films and taking television parts in Spain before that.

She said, "I feel sometimes that I'm not part of the Cuban artist community, and then I was in Spain and I feel like I'm not part of the community there — especially because in Spain, I did more TV than movies. And then I'm here, and I feel like I'm not there yet either. You know? Am I part of the community? I barely know anybody."

Back in February 2021, Curtis wrote a glowing tribute to de Armas for Time when the actress was among the magazine's Time100 Next list that year.

RELATED: Ana de Armas Says She 'Left L.A.' Because of 'Horrible' Attention on Her Ben Affleck Relationship

Ana de Armas (L) and Jamie Lee Curtis
Ana de Armas (L) and Jamie Lee Curtis

Michael Kovac/Getty

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"I met Ana de Armas on the first day of filming Knives Out. During that first scene, I looked into her beautiful green eyes, which were brimming with tears of grief as her character mourned her friend and employer. At that moment, I remember thinking, 'Who is this?' Her talent was unmistakable," wrote Curtis.

"I immediately wanted to try to do anything I could to help this young actor from Cuba on her journey, though I quickly realized she didn't need it. Her gifts were evident," Curtis continued, adding, "We will all get to remember the moment we first set eyes on her, and watch in wonder and delight as she ascends to the greatest heights our industry offers, buoyed by the depth of her soul and talent."

Another Knives Out costar, Chris Evans, also told ELLE about working with de Armas. The duo have since made Netflix's The Gray Man and the upcoming Ghosted together.

"I'm a fan first. There are certain people on camera you can't stop watching, and her range, from power to vulnerability, is incredibly wide. Every actor has strong suits, but she can go from almost dangerous to exposed and gentle and soft in one scene," said Evans, 41.