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Ana de Armas says the attention during her Ben Affleck pandemic romance was 'horrible' and 'one of the reasons why I left L.A.'

·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
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Ana de Armas says the attention on her high-profile romance with Ben Affleck was "horrible."

The Deep Water co-stars made their romance official after wrapping their film in March 2020 — and then the COVID pandemic hit. Shacking up together in Los Angeles during lockdown, they were trailed everywhere as they walked their dogs, received their coffee deliveries, wore matching heart necklaces and played in the yard with his three kids. In a new interview with Elle, de Armas — who split from Affleck, reportedly via phone, in January 2021 — said she felt trapped in that fishbowl existence and it led to her moving out of L.A.

"Horrible," is the word de Armas used to describe the attention on her relationship, which was closely followed while most people were at home and looking for a break from the 24/7 pandemic horror stories. Really? the interviewer clarified. "Yeah, which is good. That's one of the reasons why I left L.A."

The Cuban actress, 34, explained, "Going through it confirmed my thoughts about, 'This is not the place for me to be.' It became a little bit too much. There’s no escape. There's no way out." She said L.A. always gave her "the feeling of something that you don't have, something missing. It's a city that keeps you anxious."

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 05: Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas are seen on June 05, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by BG004/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
Affleck and de Armas, on June 5, 2020, were even followed to the grocery store. (Photo: BG004/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

She called the time period "weird," also sharing that her father was sick at home in Cuba (with a non-COVID illness) but she was unable to visit him due to pandemic travel restrictions to the island. "At the same time, I was working a lot, and I felt very lucky."

When the couple split, with Affleck unceremoniously ditching the cardboard cutout he had of the James Bond actress, it was reported that she had broken off their "complicated" relationship and a factor was that she didn't "want to be Los Angeles-based and Ben obviously has to since his kids [with Jennifer Garner] live in Los Angeles."

Deep Water, in which they played husband and wife, came out on Hulu in March — over a year after they had broken up. By then, Affleck was back together with Jennifer Lopez, to whom he is once again engaged. De Armas has been dating Tinder exec Paul Boukadakis since at least December.

These days, de Armas lives with Boukadakis in NYC. The pair met during the pandemic through a mutual friend. Their first dates were at one another's homes, talking and drinking wine, and didn't make headlines — like her first dates with Affleck did.

"I deleted Twitter years ago," she said of her post-L.A. life and "have barely been on Instagram," where she once shared photos of life with Affleck. She vowed that she has no secret social media accounts— or secret anything for that matter. She barely knows anyone in NYC due to her busy work schedule. Ahead, she stars as Marilyn Monroe in Blonde and plays a CIA agent in The Gray Man also starring Chris Evans, Ryan Gosling and Regé-Jean Page.

In her free time, she FaceTimes friends around the globe (including Spain, where she lived for eight years after she left Cuba and before hitting Hollywood) and hangs out with her dogs, Elvis and Salsa. The face of Estée Lauder will be taking a summer vacation in Italy, presumably with Boukadakis, and enjoying "all the limoncellos and tiramisus I can get."

She makes it very clear that in her post-Affleck and L.A. life, she's happier than she's ever been. To illustrate her point, she relayed a story about turning 34 — on the set of Ghosted — on April 30.

"It was at the beach and [there was] a fire pit, and we were working until almost 1 a.m.," she said. "At the end, I said, 'OK. This is my birthday, so I need a Fireball.' I had everybody with me: my man, my dogs, Chris [Evans] and the crew. I wasn't home having a romantic dinner; I was on set with my people doing what I love and at the beach and having a shot of Fireball. So that was my 34th birthday. And it is the happiest I've been."

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