Ana de Armas[Starts with SNL monologue intro] [Cut to SNL stage] [Band is playing music]
Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen, Ana de Armas.[Ana de Armas walks in and to the stage] [cheers and applause]
Ana de Armas: [Speaking in Spanish] Just kidding. I speak English. But I didn’t when I first got to the US. I was born in Cuba, came to America when I was 26. And I learned English the way everyone who comes to this country does, by watching “Friends.” Who would have thought that the best English tutor would be Chandler Bing? I mean, look at me now, could I be any better at English?
Acting here was difficult at first because I didn’t always understand what I was saying. Then I met this guy who had a class called “How to audition,” which was definitely a scam. He had me read a scene. And there was this line – “I beg your pardon.” But I had never seen or heard that phrase. So I thought this character was literally begging. So when I did the line, I said, “I beg your pardon. Give it to me.” Then someone else in the class read the line. And I was like, “Oh, can I try again?”
This has been a magical year. Not only I was nominated for an Oscar, but in three weeks, I’m gonna officially become an American citizen. I am proud to become a citizen because when I moved here, everyone was so welcoming. When I did my first movie in the US called “Hands of Stone,” I got to work with Robert De Niro. And one day on set, he told me, “I may be going to Cuba soon. If I do, I’ll say hello to your family.” He even asked me for the phone number. I completely forgot about it. And then one day out of the blue, I get a phone call from my dad. He’s hysterical. I’m like “Dad was wrong?” And he goes, “Robert De Niro just came to visit me at work.” That was such a kind gesture. And I’ve been so fortunate to work with so many supportive actors. My dad was so proud of me and he would be proud to see me today standing on this stage. I feel very lucky to be here.
I remember the first time my name was in the New York Times crossword, everyone texted me and they said, “You made it.” And I thought I did. But then a couple months ago, SNL called me and said “Ana, we want you to host,” and I was so shocked and excited that all I could say was “I beg your pardon?”
We have a great show for you tonight. Karol G is here. Stick around and we’ll be right back.