Ana de Armas' first attempts at acting in English were a "disaster".

Ana de Armas

Ana de Armas

The Cuban star became a household name when she moved to Spain and landed a role in TV show 'El Internado' but it wasn't so easy when she relocated to Los Angeles and had to sharpen up her language skills in order to get ahead.

Asked by OK! magazine if she picked English up quickly, she said: "I had to. I saw actors like Penelope [Cruz] and could tell how hard it was to act in English, because it's a different part of your brain.

"At first it was a disaster. No one understood me and I couldn't understand the context of what I was reading.

"I remember phrases like, 'I beg your pardon'. I had no clue what I was saying! But I knew emotionally what the scene was about."

Ana - who has landed a role in the new James Bond movie - admitted it was "tough" when she first moved to the US because she felt "lonely" and experienced a lot of professional rejection.

She said: "It was a good exercise for my ego. It was tough at first, as it can feel very lonely.

"Everything in Los Angeles happens in a house, so if you don't know anyone to invite you, it's hard to get anywhere.

"Tehre was a period of frustration when in every audition I was told my English wasn't good enough.

"Some people even said, 'You could never compete with that', pointing to a blonde American actress.

"Then I realised the best thing I have is nobody is me. Why would you want to be someone else? You can't. They're taken!"