Monday, December 04, 2006

Interview with Pedro Almodovar and Penelope Cruz

Despite 35 or so films to her credit, Penelope Cruz is better known for her glam-rag covers and famous beaus (Tom Cruise, Matthew McConaughey) than her acting prowess.
The Spanish beauty, 32, just has never fully translated on-screen.

Until now. Maybe it is the fake bottom, designed after Dustin Hoffman's shapely derrière in Tootsie, which causes her to trot with such fiery determination. Or the zest for life her housewife Raimunda acquires once her layabout husband is put on ice. Literally.

What is clear is that the cine-magic finally happens for her in Volver, director Pedro Almodóvar's vibrant valentine to Cruz that manages to be a ghost story, a murder thriller, a multilayered chick flick and a celebration of motherly devotion all in one. The pair sat down together to talk about their third collaboration after All About My Mother (1999) and Live Flesh (1997).

Q: I liked the sense of community of the women in Volver — most Hollywood movies are more about the men. Is it crazy to work with that many at one time?

Almodóvar: Do you know, it was very easy. I think it is more complicated to make promotion with many actresses. Then there is the light, the makeup, the dresses, all the things that make them feel more secure or more competitive. But on the set, I was really lucky that they really felt like family.
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