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Penelope Cruz Talks About "Volver"

Penelope Cruz Reunites with One of Her Favorite Filmmakers for "Volver"


Penelope Cruz Talks About

Penelope Cruz stars in "Volver."

© Sony Pictures Classics
Filmmaker Pedro Almodovar always brings out the best in Penelope Cruz (Live Flesh, All About My Mother) and their latest collaboration, Volver, is no exception. Cruz picked up Best Actress honors (along with her female co-stars) at the Cannes Film Festival and is being mentioned as a possible Oscar nominee. More importantly, audiences love her performance in Volver, something that really pleases the actress.

The Appeal of Working with Pedro Almodovar: Cruz immediately came up with an answer when asked what’s so attractive about collaborating with writer/director Almodovar. “Everything,” said Cruz. “ I’m obsessed with him.”

The two share a special bond of friendship, with Cruz counting Almodovar as one of her closest friends. “I just love being with him. He came to my house last night with other friends here. We hang out; we watch movies. You always discover great movies that no one’s heard about before with him. We go to the cinema a lot. He goes and he sees everything. [We] go to restaurants, talk, talk a lot, and he’s company. He’s very comforting because he feels like family to me. When I’m here and he’s here, L.A. looks different. You know, the colors look different.”

Penelope Cruz on the Oscar Buzz: Her Volver director and friend has only complimentary things to say about his leading lady. Almodovar is doing everything he can, including saying a prayer each day, to help Cruz get an Academy Award nomination. Cruz is aware of the Oscar talk but says she’s trying not to think about it. “We were just joking about it. We’re trying not to think about anything like that because when they tell you like 20 times a day, it’s difficult not to think about it, but you really have to do the exercise to… You know, it’s very flattering, very, very flattering. It’s an honor that I am even being considered for something like that. But better that I don’t think about it too much and, you know, we agree on that. We just want to keep traveling with the movie and then whatever happens will happen. I am not going to pretend like [as] if I didn’t care, like try to be cool and say, ‘I don’t care.’ No, no. Of course it would make me very happy. But it is better not to expect it.”

Pedro Almodovar and Female Characters: Almodovar is a master at creating interesting and complex characters, including females. “He just loves women and he observes really well,” explained Cruz. “I wish there were more people like that that write characters for women that are 60 and 80, and for every generation. I think for sure there’s a big lack of that in the American industry, so I hope that it will change.”

Getting Into Character: Cruz didn’t draw on her own relationship with her mother and sister to get into the character of Raimunda. “Our relationship is actually, fortunately, much easier. We haven’t had the traumatic events that this family goes through in the movie. But I think you have to search for whatever emotionally you relate to with that character. Even if you haven’t gone through those things, you have to understand it. When something is so well written, I think that [it’s easy] to at least understand it and then connect with it.”

Reacting to the Supernatural Elements of Volver: “The secret for that was for us to forget about all the changes of tone and just take care of each action one at a time, because it goes from drama to comedy to drama. My character is laughing, then she’s crying, then she’s laughing again - all at the same time. I just had to make one thing at a time, because it was overwhelming for me as an actress, also. It was the only way to do it.”

Rumors Swirl Around Penelope Cruz’ Prosthetic Butt: Cruz has heard them all. She’s heard that she kept it (she didn’t). She’s heard rumors that she’s emotionally attached to the fake rear end (that one made her roll on the floor laughing). So what’s the true story? “The last thing we read that we were laughing so hard yesterday was that now people are thinking that it was really Dustin Hoffman’s butt in Tootsie - that it’s actually the same piece of material! And they were asking him, ‘How do you feel about her wearing your bottom?’ He said something really funny. He said…well, I am not going to repeat it, but he was very, very funny. It’s funny to me that because of that, now they ask Dustin Hoffman at his press conference. They think it’s the same piece of material because Pedro said it was the inspiration. We tried it on like half-joking in a costume fitting and we liked what it did for the way I moved and walked, you know, for the energy of the character - and that’s it.”

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