Penélope Cruz: "When I was 10 years old I wondered why Almodóvar was not president of Spain"

The Penelope Cruz's first time in Venice it was also his first time in the cinema. It was 30 years ago, when she arrived at the Lido to present Jamón, Jamón, the film that would change her life forever, professionally and personally. Three decades later, that young woman from Alcobendas is one of the best actresses of the moment, she has an Oscar and a Volpi Cup that he won last year for Parallel mothers. Now he's back with two movies. One in the Official Section, the Italian L'Immensitá, where she gives life to a Spanish emigrated to Italy; a film that also confronts the childhood of a trans child and domestic violence. The other is in the parallel section, Orizzonti, and she has produced it and is directed by her friend Juan Diego Botto. This is In the margins, a drama about evictions that have taken six years to raise.

Two films that show a commitment that is becoming more and more evident, although it cannot always be achieved. "Unfortunately you can't find that in every movie that's made," she says honestly, but also aware that when he finds them you have to go after them. "Movies are not made to change the world, but when they can help start a debate about something important... that makes me very happy," says the actress, recalling that last year Almodóvar's film also spoke of "issues of the that it is important to keep talking and that they are very far from being solved, as in this case, domestic violence or the acceptance of the character of Luana".

The Italian film tells the true story of the director himself, Emanuele Crialese, who this week has publicly revealed that he is a trans man. A film that was received with a long ovation in its official screening, something that moved Penelope Cruz, who was crying "for 20 minutes without stopping." "It's not difficult for me to cry, but seeing how Ivana - the young protagonist - couldn't stop for an hour or more reminded me of the first time I came here, when I was 18 years old. I think I was so shocked then that I couldn't Or cry, but seeing her was very emotional, because she is discovering all this for the first time, and I thought she was adorable and very pure. "

Penélope Cruz already spoke at the press conference about domestic violence. She remembers that when she was little, she heard "a couple of stories" about the subject at her mother's hairdressing salon, but recently she experienced a case up close. In addition, she was marked by all the women she met during the preparation of In the margins. "If we had put into the movie all the details of all the stories of all the women we met, you would say, how can one person endure so much suffering in one lifetime? How can one woman endure all that when she is raising three or four children? That's why I also wanted to do L'Immensitá, because it also talks about domestic violence in a way that is very, very full of truth."

She has felt a feminist since she was very young, and she is clear about who is responsible: "I think it is because of the way my parents raised me, who are very young, they had me when I was 20 years old and I am very grateful for the way they who raised me. So, although I was born in 1974, I also lived through the change in my country after the dictatorship, and I have been aware of it. I always wondered, when I watched Pedro's (Almodóvar) interviews, why not he was president of our country. It was something I wondered about when I was eight or ten years old."

All the critics have highlighted her work in L'Immensitá and many have commented on her transformation into a scene in the mythical Rafaella Carrá, a tribute that Cruz was delighted to pay, who confesses that she has always admired the Italian artist. "When I was a little girl, I used to go to the park with my grandmother to do some of her song numbers. My grandmother would take me to do it for her friends, and I always rehearsed at home and was fascinated by it. So when I read the script and saw that I had the opportunity to play Rafaella Carrá and Patti Bravo... for me it was very special to do it. The day we shot this scene, the producer came and told us that Rafaella had died. It was the same day, and we had just talked about inviting her to the set for the other number or just to tell her how much we admired her, and at which point, she walks in and says that. So it was really, really sad because no one knew she was sick."

Motherhood changed Penélope Cruz forever, also as an actress. "I think about it even in every role I do, because becoming a mother changed me completely. Right from the start. All my priorities changed. I never thought about myself in the first place. It's a natural thing that happens that's very healthy and It's a blessing. I've always been very family-oriented, because that's how I lived it in my childhood, but now my children are my priority. That's why I make a film a year and in the summer I plan to be all together. And if I can I try to shoot in Madrid , or where we are in the school year".

The Italian 'mamma' she plays bears her husband's machismo and violence, but also the gaze of a society that believes she is a freak for giving off freedom in every gesture. A feeling that the actress acknowledges having felt when she said she wanted to be an artist as a child: "I felt very alone, because when I said why don't we put on a show, many times, although not always, the teachers looked at me as if to say, you're weird. And It seems like you got used to it, but after a while I stopped caring and I found my way. When I was in school, once I had learned what I was playing, the rest of the time I would disconnect and fly, I became another person, I imagined different possibilities for the future.

That is why he claims the need to have time to get bored. "That time when I was bored was when my imagination was turned on and when I dreamed and planned my future. I see that teenagers today, although of course it depends on the parents, but I think they never have time to be idle, and great things come out of that nothing", ditch. From comments like those of her teachers she learned to protect herself from her. "You can already do it" in an industry like this, where "if you're successful and you're going to be exposed to the public, you're going to hear good things and bad things." Her advice is clear: "Don't believe either of them."

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