Elena Anaya

Active - 1996 - 2017  |   Born - Jul 17, 1975 in Palencia, España  |   Genres - Drama, Crime, Comedy Drama, Horror, Thriller

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Biography by Jason Buchanan

For many of those who realize their calling in life at an early age, the world is wide open with success and opportunity at every turn. When Spanish actress Elena Anaya felt that her talents gravitated toward a life on the stage and screen, the aspiring young actress spared precious little time in getting herself prepared for life in the limelight -- a fact that no doubt played a part in her being named one of European Films' Shooting Stars during the 2004 European Film Promotion campaign. A relatively new face to stateside audiences at the time of her international debut in 2004's Van Helsing, Anaya was soon climbing the latter to international success with subsequent roles opposite such screen heavies as Gary Oldman (Dead Fish) and Viggo Mortensen (Alatriste).

A native of Palencia, Spain, whose early childhood was spent practicing karate at the Okinawa Gymnasium and climbing mountains, Anaya opted out of Cadiz School in 1996 -- choosing instead to join the Real Escuela Superior de Arte Dramático de Madrid and study under actor Manuel Morón. Following her feature debut in the 1996 drama África, Anaya continued to impress with supporting roles in such features as Black Tears and Wiped-Out Footprints. A turn opposite handsome Spanish leading man Eduardo Noriega in the 2000 romantic drama El Invierno de las Anajanas showed great promise for the burgeoning actress, with a role in the erotic arthouse drama Sex and Lucia earning her a Goya nomination for Best Supporting Actress. As her profile continued to increase thanks to roles in such features as The Blue Room and Pedro Almadóvar's Talk to Her, it seemed only a matter of time before Anaya's popularity went international. Though her role as Dracula's most possessive bride in 2004's Van Helsing may have offered her little chance to shine amongst the massive CG-overload, audiences could rest assured that they would be seeing plenty more of the Spanish beauty when it was announced that she would be appearing in both the 2004 action comedy Dead Fish and the 2005 period adventure Alatriste.

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  • En los estudios fue poco aplicada, llegando a repetir cursos y optando, finalmente, por limpiar y cocinar en una pensión para estudiantes propiedad de su madre.
  • En 1996 se presentó a las pruebas de acceso de la Real Escuela Superior de Arte Dramático de Madrid, que no superó.
  • Posteriormente, fue aceptada en dicha escuela; pero finalmente fue expulsada por no asistir con asiduidad a las clases (estaba trabajando en la película que supuso su debut en el cine: Familia, de Fernando León).
  • El reconocimiento nacional llegó con la película Lucía y el sexo, de Julio Médem, donde interpreta a Belén, una niñera morbosa. Por este personaje, ganó el premio de la Unión de Actores de España y una candidatura al premio Goya.
  • Ha sido "chica Almodóvar" en dos ocasiones: En Hable con Ella (Óscar 2003 al mejor guión original y candidata a Mejor director) y La piel que habito (2011). Para ella, trabajar con el cineasta Pedro Almodóvar supone "un sueño hecho realidad".