Penelope Cruz reunites with Woody Allen for To Rome with Love, a romantic comedy set - of course - in Rome that follows four distinct storylines, including one with a gorgeous hooker. Cruz plays the hooker who winds up having to masquerade as a newlywed due to a bizarre case of mistaken identity.
Discussing To Rome with Love at a press conference, Cruz said she feels extremely lucky to be able to be back starring in another Woody Allen film. "I've been a fan of his work since I was a little girl. I was very happy first of all to meet him, to be able to spend time with him. He makes me laugh all day long, so I feel like the luckiest girl, you know? I can spend time with him, and I also get to be directed by him, and he trusts me enough to give me his beautiful characters," offered Cruz. "The only thing is it's always too short, because both times I worked with him I did it in three weeks. So I always want more."
Allen's known for only giving his actors the basic info on the story and then just letting them run with it. Cruz only knew what her part of the film was about and was completely in the dark about the plotlines that didn't involve her character. And while Cruz loves Allen's style of directing, she admits it can be a little tricky at times. "He gives all this freedom, which is very liberating. At the same time, it feels like a big responsibility because you don't want to ruin anything, especially when you are working in a different language. In Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Javier [Bardem] and I, he gave us the scene in English and asked for us to translate it however we wanted to, the way our characters would speak, and we didn't know if he was going to be angry with that when he got the translation of what we were saying - because we were swearing every three words," said Cruz. "He was happy afterwards. He gives us a lot of trust, a lot of trust to the actors."
Given the fact Allen only provided the basic details, Cruz was really able to come up with her own ideas as to who her character ('Anna') is and how to play her. "I was looking around in some parties in Cannes looking for inspiration. You know, different places," revealed Cruz. "We didn't talk about any particular women. It was just there on the page, and I created this Anna, that says everything she thinks comes out of her mouth. She doesn't have a filter, and I love that because she's the opposite of what I am. I want to be like that, but I am much more of a control freak. So I love playing characters that are so free, [who] do and say whatever they feel every day of their life. It's very refreshing to play someone like that."
To Rome with Love also features Allen (back in front of the camera for the first time since 2006), Alison Pill, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig, Judy Davis, Ellen Page, Alec Baldwin, and Robert Benigni. Sony Pictures Classics will be releasing the comedy in theaters on June 22, 2012.
(Photo © Sony Pictures Classics)