Backstage with Penelope Cruz

What did you say in Spanish in your speech on stage?
I said that I wanted to dedicate it to all the actors of my country and all the people that are now watching there at home, and that are feeling that this also belongs to them. I want to dedicate it to them.

Before you came here, did you speak to Woody Allen?

Today? No, but I’m going to call him right now. He sent me flowers last week when I won for BAFTA, and we’ve been speaking sometimes. I call him sometimes just to say hello. I adore him, I think he’s so funny and charming and unique and of course today I have to talk to Woody to thank him.


 You had two wonderful performances this year. Is it just luck or are there better roles for women coming along?

Those roles are very well written and I’m very happy to have those two in the same year and I’m grateful to those two directors for giving me that material and women that couldn’t be farther from my own personality. I’m very grateful to them — and luck I’m sure is always a part of everything. But these days I’m talking about their faith and trust in me.
One of your costars from the upcoming musical "Nine" is here, Sophia Loren – what’s it like working with her?
I love that number, I did it for many months, and the last day of shooting I was very depressed I didn’t get it to do it again. We are very happy and proud of the movie. Sophia is one of the most special women I’ve met, she tells me what to eat, she’s becoming like my second mom. She’s just so real and she has seen everything. She will tell you stories about Fellini. She is a woman with a gold of heart.  A woman with a heart of gold, haha.
You kept telling us at Cannes and in interviews that you were insecure about your performance. Does gettin an Oscar make a difference to this struggle you have when you get a role?
I’m always insecure on the set no matter what. When you’re working with Woody Allen you know you can trust him, if he likes it he will tell you. He’s not a man of too many words but he’s honest and that’s what counts to me. We did the whole movie in four and a half weeks, so I had no idea what it was going to be but I was never doubting the genius of Woody Allen. I was curious about the tone. But once I got into my world … I didn’t want to laugh at anyone for all those weeks, and then those audiences in Cannes, I was thinking, why are they laughing? And that’s what’s supposed to happen… Making sure the actors aren’t too aware of their genre. Forget about it while you’re on set. Forget about in which line the joke could be, all of that has to stay out of the film.
You talked about a dream being very far away – or impossible. Along the way, nobody made it easy for you. There were times when people said you were too beautiful. What were the things that stood in your way and encouraged you to go for this crazy dream?
You have to keep climbing mountaints. There are some things not to bother to engage in, those debates, ‘Can you work in America with an accent?’ And that has been changing in the last 10-15 years. Movies represent life and what happens in the streets, when we are all mixed together. In this room, how many accents are here? So we are all mixed together, and more and more everyday, and that has to be reflected in cinema. So I’m happy that finally that door seems to be more open, to a much bigger group.