Ana De Armas Didn't Have Much Time To Prepare For No Time To Die

Whether you were a fan of Daniel Craig's final entry into the James Bond franchise (as I was) or not, one thing is for certain: Ana de Armas absolutely lights up the screen when she shows up at 45 minutes into "No Time to Die." She exits the film only 12 minutes later, and for those dozen minutes, all you can do is marvel at her movie star charisma. She gets some big laughs and takes part in a tremendous action sequence wearing an impossibly gorgeous dress. You desperately want her to be in the rest of the film, but she is designed to be a burst of life and energy. That can only last so long.

Based on the creation of her character, Paloma, it makes sense why she felt perfect for the part. It was basically written for her. According to a behind-the-scenes interview during production with photographer Greg Williams, de Armas said:

"This character, I think, didn't exist in the film, so it was just talking to Cary [Joji Fukunaga], that he really wanted me in the movie, and they just made it happen. So, I was in the conversation for a long time before it became real."

While the production may have desperately wanted her, her schedule was another matter. She was in the midst of shooting the still-forthcoming Marilyn Monroe film "Blonde." Playing a real person as the lead of a film requires a lot of time for preparation and production. Jumping off an all-consuming project like that and sliding into the James Bond machine is not an easy task for an actor.

'I've done three weeks training'

One of the many fun things about Paloma is she is a novice out in the field. She is fidgety, nervous, drinks on the job, and does not seem like she has it together. To cap it off, Ana de Armas giddily delivers the perfect line that explains everything about her: "I've done three weeks training." In the action, of course, three weeks end up looking like plenty enough time, but it is still a fun way to excuse any rawness in her work, compared with Bond's years of honing his skills. It is one of the great, joyous moments of "No Time to Die."

The line was no accident and was not in the original script. It came straight out of reality. When de Armas was on "The Tonight Show" opposite Jimmy Fallon, she explained the origin came directly from her own experience preparing for the film:

"The funny thing is I also had only three weeks training. I think I just kept saying it so much that Cary [Joji Fukunaga] was like, 'Just say it. It's fine.'"

Three weeks maybe won't make you ready to properly be a glamorous secret agent on a mission, but it was enough time to credibly fake it in a film. While the preparation time does seem awfully small, it is not remarkably shorter than similar prep for plenty of other action movies. Films are rarely afforded a proper amount of time for rehearsals, whether for fight or dance choreography. Actors have plenty of horror stories about learning a fight on the day and having to shoot incredibly fast, which is why the scenes appear overly edited and poorly shot. The lesson: Give the people working on your film time to properly learn what they are doing. May not seem like a lesson someone needs to learn, but apparently, they do.

Three weeks may not have been a long time, but you can perfectly see every movement de Armas makes in her big action scene. The result is one of the best James Bond characters in years.