Penélope Cruz - Interview

Posted on 17. Dec, 2009 by Administrator in Profiles

words by Brent Simon
photo by Emilio Pereda & Paola Ardizzoni

The year 2009 has been something of a dream for Penélope Cruz. It began with her performance in Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona, already honored by several critics groups, winning her a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award in February. It continued with the filming of Rob Marshall’s musical Nine, based on Federico Fellini’s 8 ½, and the Cannes Film Festival presentation and European release of the noirish, Spanish dramedy Broken Embraces – two films, sure to be awards-circuit contenders themselves, which Cruz will now spend the next several months touring the world promoting.
It’s been a long trip for the girl who began studying women at her mother’s hair salon when she was only five years old, becoming quietly aware of their public faces. Cruz is now an internationally recognized knockout beauty, which her recent appearance at a Beverly Hills hotel – brunette locks cascading over her almond brown blouse, past her shoulders and down her back – only serves to confirm. Yet for all her superstardom, she retains a beguiling mix of enchantress wonderment and button-cute innocence. No doubt some of the latter is due to factors of verbal intrigue; in Cruz’s mouth, the word monitor is pronounced “money-tar,” with no sense of halting uncertainty or embarrassment.
If the accent rather charmingly remains, Cruz’s grasp of English has aided her upward trajectory. “I remember when I was 20 and didn’t speak the language at all,” she recalls. “I did the casting [for a movie] on tape, got the part, and when I met [the filmmakers] they realized that all I knew were the lines for the character…I’m more comfortable with English now, so the roles have become more challenging and demanding.”
Still, it will most likely be Cruz’s past and future collaborations with fellow Spanish native Pedro Almodóvar, whom she met when she was only 16, for which she will most remembered. The duo have made a quartet of features together, the first of which, 1997’s Live Flesh, is largely credited, along with Abre Los Ojos, for bringing Cruz to the attention of American producers. “The four characters that I’ve played for him could not be more different from one another, and from what I am as a woman,” says Cruz, “and as an actor you always need that – someone to have the imagination and trust to put you in the shoes of the character that is completely different than anything you’ve ever done before.”
“You can never be bored next to Pedro,” Cruz continues. “Every day is a huge adventure, you never know what’s going to come out of his mouth. He likes playing with fire, but at the same time is a very kind man. Working together, we have this dance of trust and risk that is really beautiful. And we’ve shared with each other so many special moments in our lives.”
Broken Embraces provides Cruz another meaty role, as Lena, an aspirant actress who finds herself caught up in a love triangle between a film director and her older financier boyfriend. At times brooding and pulsing with a thin bass line of dread, at other times quite funny, the movie is a jumbled grab-bag of various tonalities. In other words, it’s like life, and globetrotter Cruz wouldn’t have it any other way.

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One Response to “Penélope Cruz - Interview”

  1. GoodBurger

    04. Jan, 2010

    She’s a hottie, there’s no doubt about that!

    Reply to this comment

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