Latina Star Ana De Armas Swept By the American Dream in “War Dogs” (Opens Aug. 24)

She’s a Cuban-born actress who has become one of Spain’s rising stars, and now worldwide audiences are discovering Ana de Armas in a number of different films, foremost of which is Warner Bros. Pictures’ “War Dogs,” the new comedic drama based on true events.

Based on a true story, “War Dogs” follows two friends in their early 20s living in Miami Beach during the Iraq War who exploit a little-known government initiative that allows small businesses to bid on U.S. Military contracts. Starting small, Efraim (Jonah Hill) and David (Miles Teller) begin raking in big money and are living the high life. But the pair gets in over their heads when they land a 300 million dollar deal to arm the Afghan Military—a deal that puts them in business with some very shady people, not the least of which turns out to be the U.S. Government.

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Efraim’s and David’s newfound wealth opens the door to luxury apartments, expensive cars and better drugs. Nevertheless, David is initially forced to hide the real source of his income from his staunchly anti-gun, anti-war girlfriend, Iz, who is about to become his wife.

Ana de Armas, who plays Iz, offers, “She knows even less than half of what’s going on at first because David knows she would never approve of it, so she’s dealing with this weird atmosphere of secrecy. Naturally, at some point in the movie, she finds out, but she understands this is for the family and their future, so she decides she’s going to be supportive. Whatever he decides to do, she will be with him. That’s Iz’s main characteristic: she loves and trusts David. I thinks she’s a very strong, sensitive woman and is a very good partner in life.”

De Armas won the role after a long audition process in which the filmmakers “read a lot of women for the part of Iz,” director Todd Phillips recalls. “But when Ana came in, it was like, ‘Whoa, that’s the one.’ She’s a wonderful actress and when you look at her, she expresses so much emotion just in her eyes.”

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The admiration is mutual. “Todd is very smart and what I find so remarkable about him is his ability to put movies together that connect so well with audiences,” says de Armas. “On the set, he knows what he wants and when you feel that confidence in your director, who is the person telling you what he’s looking for, it’s amazing. He spends time with you rehearsing, so when you hear ‘Action,’ you know what to do. And then you have the freedom to play around because you have the foundation of the scene.”

De Armas is currently in production on Denis Villeneuve’s as-yet-untitled “Blade Runner” sequel, in which she stars alongside Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Robin Wright and Mackenzie Davis. The story picks up several decades after the conclusion of the 1982 original, which was set in 2019 in a dystopian Los Angeles. Being executive-produced by Ridley Scott, the film is slated for release on October 6, 2017.

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De Armas also starred in Eli Roth’s independent thriller “Knock Knock,” which debuted at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.

Opening across the Philippines on Aug. 24, “War Dogs” is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

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