Trips to the island country from America were made illegal during the Cold War, and the ban remained in place until U.S. President Barack Obama eased travel and commerce restrictions on Cuba in December (14), after agreeing to re-establish diplomatic relations between the two countries for the first time since 1961.

The Transformers star was born in Los Angeles, but her mother hails from Cuba and they had to travel through Mexico if they wanted to go and visit their family.

She says, "I've been to Cuba three times, illegally. We went through Mexico, it was a little shady. You'd have to make sure they didn't stamp your passport and if they did, you had to kinda like, rub it off. You throw in some cash (to bribe border officials) and then (when) it doesn't work, they're super offended and then you're just kind of screwed.

"But, it was really fantastic. I went for the first time when I was about 10 years old and I realised just how happy the people are out there and they really don't have much... I still have family out there. I've been three times and if you can go now... you really can see how they're sort of just stuck in the 1950s and it's pretty incredible."