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Pénélope Cruz • Actress

"It is important for me to maintain my roots"

- With a career that spans both sides of the Atlantic, she is back in Spain to work for a third time with Pedro Almodóvar, a director who unconsciously influenced her in her choice to become an actress

Pénélope Cruz • Actress

Cineuropa: How do you feel after having seen the film?
Penélope Cruz: I feel I was very lucky. There aren't many characters that are this good and I received the best gift an actress can get. It isn't only about my work as an actress but also what I have learned from being in Almodóvar's hands, from the way he directs actresses. I don’t think I can find the right words to express all the emotions I feel from doing this film. These six months of working with Pedro were a gift from heaven. We rehearsed for several months, which is very unusual. We dedicated so much time to even some of the tiniest sentences that, one day, we suddenly found the right rhythm. It was magic.

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Cineuropa: What was like working with Pedro?
I am going to tell you something. When I was thirteen, I was mad about cinema, but I wasn’t allowed to watch most films because I was too young. Then, somehow I managed to see Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down and that's when I decided I really was going to be an actress. Unbenowst to him, Pedro Almodóvar influenced me in my choice to become an actress. Working with him is a dream come true.

Do you think you are underestimated in the US?
I have been working in Europe for 16 years and in the US for five years and the quality of projects I am offered in the US is lower than in Spain. Here, I am offered more emotionally challenging films. There are times when you read a script and think that it will bring you something new, as it is a type of character that is new to you, but in the end it doesn't. That is part of the risk in this line of work. It’s different for me in Spain and that's why I don’t intend to stop working here. It is important for me to maintain my roots. In any case, working with Pedro is unlike anything else in the world. We rehearsed for several months, six hours a day, with all the freedom to make mistakes… As a result, by the time we were shooting we were much more self-confident and the dream finally came true.

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