For Penélope Cruz this year is the best Oscar nomination she has received: for a film in Spanish, directed by Pedro Almodóvar and in the same edition of the awards for which her husband, actor Javier Bardem, is also a candidate: “It’s very, very exciting,” he says in an interview.
The Madrilenian woman, who is nominated for the Oscar for best actress for her work in “Parallel Mothers”, assures that she saw the nominations live together with Bardem and that she started screaming when he was named (for “Being the Ricardos”), while the actor remained silent until her name came out.
“When they said the names of the actresses there he began to scream and I fell directly to the ground and spent an hour and a half crying,” says Cruz, who confesses that he would have liked to see Almodóvar’s name among the nominees for best director or screenwriter.
“It couldn’t have been, but I’ve seen how happy he is from the bottom of his heart for us,” says Cruz about the “generosity” of the Spanish director, for whose last film they nominated its lead actress and the composer of the soundtrack, Alberto Iglesias.
The actress points out that Almodóvar was one of the first people to call her and asked her to go to the headquarters of the “El Deseo” production company for a hug: “Everything I’m achieving with this film I owe to him, to the wonder of the script that he has created, how he has directed us, how he has accompanied us on this long, intense and precious path”, he underlines.
The actress confesses that as a child and teenager she had “the obsession” to work with Almodóvar. “She is someone very important in my life, even before I met her. “
About today, Cruz assures that getting a nomination that seemed “difficult” to her, but being both her and Bardem was “impossible and it has happened,” she stresses.
At the moment, she says that she is not going to have “illusions” about the possibility of winning the award on March 27 and that she is left with having been nominated for an Oscar. It is the fourth time that she is a candidate for these awards, after “Volver”, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” and “Nine”, the second of them with a statuette.
For Penelope, it’s already a “gift to be part of this marvelous movie and this character, I couldn’t love her more.” “The first time I read it, my heart skipped a beat because I was impressed that once again Pedro trusted me to give me material that was so extremely interesting, complex, and different from anything we’ve done before,” the actress remarks.
She affirms that today, together with her husband, she remembered above all the moments in which she found out that she was nominated, one of them with her father -already deceased- in Los Angeles, another with the actress Salma Hayek (at first she became the sleeping one and got under the sheets) and another with Katrina Bayonas, her representative, all in the US.
“Every time there has been a surprise, but today has been the strongest, being both”, emphasizes the actress, who usually resists seeing the nominations live because she gets very nervous, she confesses, although she ends up doing it.
Penélope Cruz assures that she feels “a great deal of gratitude and humility” and that she continues to believe that “the greatest prize is having a job.” “(A job that) motivates me and that I have wanted since I was a child,” she amplifies.
“When I made my first film I didn’t know if it was the last, and that fear that we actors have of knowing that we depend on someone from outside, I don’t let go of that, because it’s my driving force and it’s what makes me continue to value things, never trust me, value each character, start from scratch every time”, he stresses.
For this reason, one of the moments that she appreciates most about her job is “being a student again.” “It doesn’t matter if you’re 40-60-80 years old, it’s always starting from scratch and remembering the opportunities that life is giving us.”
In a subsequent meeting with various media, which took place in the kitchen of El Deseo, Cruz revealed that throughout the process with this film she had in mind a friend who went through a situation similar to that of Janis, her character, of loss or threat of loss of a child or a loved one.
“In everything that has happened with this movie I can’t think of anything else other than her and that child,” he said. “My drive was to honor any woman going through a similar situation.”
Asked how she feels like an ambassador for Marca España, Cruz confessed that she finds it hard to think in those terms. “I can’t love my country more, I decide to live here because I love it, but I feel like one more, I’m the first to be surprised by everything that happens to me.”
She also made reference to the film that she has just shot with Juan Diego Botto as director and screenwriter, “On the Margins”, and in which she stars and produces. “I want to do something like this every two years, it’s something that motivates me”, she has said in reference to her facet as a Spanish film producer.
She is less willing to often work with her husband after the experience of “Loving Pablo” (2017). “It’s something that makes sense once in a while, every five years at the earliest, it’s a way to protect the relationship.