Beautiful and very talented Spanish actress Elena Anaya became one of the most outstanding actresses of her generation after impressing both the critics and the public with her performance in Sex and Lucia (2001).
Elena Anaya was born on 17 July 1975 in Palencia, Spain. She is the youngest of three children. Her childhood was marked by the separation of her parents. During her youth, her hobbies included practicing karate at the Okinawa Gymnasium, scuba diving, mountain climbing, and attending the concerts of Mecano, which is one of her favorite bands.
The actress never showed much interest in academics, that's why she decided to leave Cadiz School in 1996 to study at Real Escuela Superior de Arte Dramático (RESAD). When her representative, Katrina Bayonas, looked for a young woman to star in Alfonso Ungría's África (1996), Anaya went to Madrid for a casting call. There, she shared a floor with two French girls while juggling her studies and work as an actress. She passed the entrance exam at RESAD, but was expelled after director Fernando León de Aranoa called her to participate in the comedy, Familia (1996). It was a unique opportunity. Determined to hone her skills, Anaya continued her acting studies at Juan Carlos Corazza's School of Interpretation. At the same time, she appeared in Black Tears (1998), Finisterre, donde termina el mundo (1998), and Wiped-Out Footprints (1999).
In 2000, Julio Medem cast her as a young seductress in the erotic drama, Sex and Lucia (2001). Her explosive mixture of innocence and provocation attracted the audience's attention. The film earned nine nominations at the Goya Awards, earning her a nomination for Best Supporting Actress. In the same year, she acted alongside Penélope Cruz and Victoria Abril in Don't Tempt Me (2001).
In 2002, one of her dreams came true; she was cast for a small role in Pedro Almodóvar's Talk to Her (2002). Afterwards she continued to impress audiences with supporting roles in Miguel Albaladejo's Rancour (2002) and Walter Doehner's The Blue Room (2002).
A year later Anaya's filmography continued to grow, thanks to her role in Dos tipos duros (2003), which led her to act alongside Gary Oldman in Dead Fish (2005). At that time, the producers of Van Helsing (2004) were impressed by Anaya's performance in Sex and Lucia (2001), so they contacted her representative. Anaya traveled to London to do a screen test, and was finally selected by Stephen Sommers for the role of Aleera, one of Count Dracula's brides. Although acting in Hollywood was not a priority, Anaya was enchanted to act alongside big stars like Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale.
Her latest projects included Eduardo Carrillo's Stage Kiss (2006) and Agustín Díaz Yanes's Alatriste (2006), which is a film adaptation of Arturo Pérez-Reverte's novels.
Her major aspirations are to continue working as an actress and enjoy the small things in life.
2004: Named as one of European films' Shooting Stars by European Film Promotion.
Companion of Beatriz Sanchís.
She's a fan of FC Barcelona.
Had a long-term relationship with Gustavo Salmerón.
She is fluent in English, and speaks some French.
Older sister, Marina Anaya, is a painter, sculptor, and printmaker.
She practiced Shotokan for 15 years.
Enjoys cooking and freediving.
[when asked what her skill is] I can hypnotize rabbits.
Beauty could be our worst enemy. There is something about this generation living now, that we don't accept death. We don't accept growing and getting old, which is one of the most beautiful things. I hope to grow up and see myself accepting myself and accepting time going by and everything falls. But yes, of course beauty is something we get trapped in. We used to grow up in a society where we are shit. If we use this cream, we will never grow old; if we do this, we will never grow old. It's all bullshit. They should be punished because they are not telling us the truth or reality of life. Surgery is a complicated thing to talk about, but I guess it could also be a dangerous thing to play with if you're not very secure about what you're doing.
[on the pressure of aging and looking beautiful] That would be so scary. I'm 36 years old, and I'm growing up. Little by little. I'm not 20 anymore, and I feel it. I hope to be 70 and sitting at the table with journalists, talking about my films. I don't want to feel the pressure, because it's against nature. Of course I need to take care of myself, but not in an obsessed way. I never go to a gym unless I have to for a role, a contract. I try to take care of myself as a human being, not because I have to be in front of the camera. Maybe I should do it more.
I am not generous about telling people who I am and what I like to do because it's my life and it only belongs to me and my friends and family.
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