– by Gig Patta

In two decades, Earth will look a whole lot different in Blade Runner 2049.

Director Denis Villeneuve recreates the Blade Runner universe in this sequel featuring futuristic cities and technologies that made the original a hit.

In Blade Runner 2049, Ryan Gosling plays a young blade runner discovering a mystery that leads him to Rick Deckard, who has been missing for the past thirty years.

The film also stars Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Dave Bautista and Robin Wright.

LRM had an exclusive interview last month with actress Ana de Armas in her involvement with the film. Although she could not divulge certain details about the film or her character, she managed to discuss with us about the size and scope of the Blade Runner universe. With Villeneuve’s vision, he managed to create grand sets with very little CGI.

Blade Runner 2049 is playing in theaters nationwide today.

Read our interview transcript below.

LRM: It must be a relief that you get to talk about this film, right?

Ana de Armas: A little bit. We’re not allowed to say everything. But, yeah. [Laughs]

LRM: I’m curious. You did CinemaCon. You did San Diego Comic-Con. You did the European press tour. And you’re doing this right now. How do you keep everything a secret for yourself? Don’t you want to reveal it all out to the world?

Ana de Armas: It is. It is frustrating. We really want to share, not only about the character, but also the process. This was an amazing learning experience for me. Everything was really exciting and new. We can’t really talk about it.

I also want to respect Denis [Villeneuve]’s wish. Denis wants the audience to experience all of this in the same way you did. He wants you to be surprised when the lights go off and the movie starts. It’s magical. It’s a movie with a very intense experience. You don’t want to ruin that for other people.

LRM: So when you first heard that you got the Blade Runner role, were you familiar with this world before? Or were you such a big fan that you exploded with joy?

Ana de Armas: Yeah. I got very happy. I did know about the first Blade Runner movie. I knew on how incredible this one would be with the people involved. I had no idea on what this story would be or any information about my character. By having Denis, Ryan [Gosling] and Harrison Ford, this is a very strong magnet for me in willing to do it. Obviously, it’s a no-brainer. [Laughs]

LRM: When they gave you the script, did they only give you parts of the script at the time in order to keep the secrecy?

Ana de Armas: No, they gave me the full script.

LRM: So did you read it all at once?

Ana de Armas: I’ve read it a couple of times to be honest. It was very complicated and it was a lot to take in. I was very curious about my character. I had to keep reading in order to picture on who was she and what we were going to do with her. I felt like it was a very, very strong story. It was very emotional. It was very real.

LRM: What about this Blade Runner setting that you love the most?

Ana de Armas: I think it’s the fact that everything on set is visually so spectacular and so gigantic. It was really giant open space. The humans are so little in that universe. The intimacy that really mattered in the movie didn’t get lost. I really loved that. I think it was Denis’ touch with that. He’s a very detailed director. All he cared about was the story and the characters. It was a very intimate story to tell. It was very human.

LRM: When you walked on to the set for the very first time, what was the very first scene that you witnessed?

Ana de Armas: It was K’s apartment. It was our first set. It was really cool, because Denis took Ryan and I to the set to see all these prop people putting everything into place. Denis was like, “Everyone out! Leave everything on where it is. Just everyone get out of here!” He told us, “Now you guys decorate this.” Ryan and I went over to the bookshelf. We picked out the books we wanted one by one. Then we went to the kitchen to pick out the silverware and the plates. That was one of the sets that we spent a lot of time on. It was really claustrophobic after a couple days. [Laughs]

It was nice that we felt like we brought something into the film.

LRM: Your personal touch.

Ana de Armas: Right, right. That was our little [contribution]. It was very small and claustrophobic. It did felt like it’s the best place you could possibly be. Everything else may seem so chaotic and terrible—you really wanted to go back to that little box.

It was really the first day. It was really glad to see my thing. It was incredible to see everything was functioning. Any button you pressed, you’ll know that something is happening for real. These people really created that universe.

For us, we could understand on where we were living. There was nothing to imagine. The building across the street was real. The apartment and everything else was real. The lights. The advertisements. The reflections on our faces. Everything was really happening.

LRM: No CGI, really?

Ana de Armas: No. I mean that they did a lot afterwards. But, for us, everything was there. Everything. Even the speeder we were flying in was on top of something. For real, we were wearing the seatbelts while flying, shaking and turning. It was really special. It was like we were really living in that world.

LRM: Now I want to ask you about that flying car. There are published pictures of you sitting in that vehicle for promotion. How cool was that?

Ana de Armas: Incredible! I’m telling you it was incredible. To think that people came up with these designs and made it real. It shows you that we’re not that far off. We are capable of creating this technology. It’s a wonder on why we don’t have this technology right now. [Laughs]

It was really uncomfortable. [Laughs] But, it was great and really fun.

LRM: The outfits. You went through so many outfits. There were so many costumes.

Ana de Armas: [Laughs] Yes!

LRM: How many costumes did you have to go through? Were there any personal touches from you? I know you’re a fashionista yourself.

Ana de Armas: [Laughs] I think it was around twelve different changes. I believe two of them are not in the movie. It was really fun. Rene April was our costumer designer and one of the first people I got in touch with. She was so excited. We started with all the sketches she came up with to trying on all the clothes with the different colors, fabric and textures.

Every time I got the call to have a fitting, it was my favorite thing. It was really incredible. There was a very specific vision for everything. It was very controlled and thoughtful.

You can have your opinion on deciding whether it should be red or pink. That’s some of the decisions that you may have a say. The rest is really [calculated]. Denis is following the process very closely. With these professionals and artists, you simply put yourself into their hands. It’s the right thing to do.

LRM: Terrific. One last question. What does it mean to be human?

Ana de Armas: It’s the ability to connect with someone. It’s to be able to understand and to show feelings, empathy, love and compassion. [Laughs]

LRM: Great answer. It’s been a pleasure.

Ana de Armas: Thank you.

Blade Runner 2049 is currently playing in theaters nationwide.

Source: Exclusive to LRM

Gig Patta is a journalist and interviewer for LRM and Latino-Review since 2009. He was a writer for other entertainment sites in the past with Collider and IESB.net. He originally came from the world of print journalism with several years as a reporter with the San Diego Business Journal and California Review. He earned his MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management and BA in Economics from UC San Diego. Follow him on Instagram @gigpatta or Facebook @officialgigpatta.