Penelope Cruz And Pedro Team Up AgainFor the fourth time, Penelope Cruz stars in a film by Pedro Almodovar. "Broken Embraces" is typical Almodovar -- shifting time and perspective to tell the story of Lena and Mateo, two lovers caught up
For the fourth time, Penelope Cruz stars in a film by Pedro Almodovar. "Broken Embraces" is typical Almodovar -- shifting time and perspective to tell the story of Lena and Mateo, two lovers caught up in a love triangle dominated by jealousy, treachery and a guilt complex.
We first meet Cruz' character, Lena, as a poor Spanish girl working as a secretary during the day and a call girl at night. Later we learn that she secretly wants to be an actress.
"She has to act a lot in life and she has to become a very good manipulator with Ernesto, because she's trapped in a situation that's like a jail for her," said Cruz.
"That's not the person she wants to be with. Finally, when she meets Mateo, you see who she really is in a more happy state, but that doesn't last very long for her."
The role requires Cruz to play a couple different versions of the character, a shifting perspective that proved challenging.
"I thought she was somebody that didn't have the opportunity to prove that she was good," she said. "But I thought she was good. I thought she could do it and actually at the end of the movie you have to see the same take done a little better than the first time when she's been edited really badly on purpose. So we had to do the same scene both ways and that was very interesting for us."
About her fourth collaboration with Almodovar ("Live Flesh," "All About My Mother," "Volver"), Cruz said she's far from having reached a comfort level.
"I don't feel less intimidated by him when I'm on the set," she said. "He has a big presence and he's very honest, so you never know what he's going to say, and I really appreciate that. It makes me a little bit scared, but I really appreciate that if a take was bad Pedro will tell me, and if it was good he will even call me home at night to tell me many times that he's very happy."
The Oscar-winning actress says she's grateful for the opportunities she's been given, but admits to sometimes being nostalgic for the Hollywood mystique that existed 60-70 years ago, before everyone know everything about movie stars.
"I have to say I've thought about that," she said. "Not for that reason, also for the kind of movies that were made then. Most of the stories were about relationships, human behavior, and... I mean, I feel like I cannot complain with the kind of material I've been offered, especially the last few years, and the fact that I can work in my country and also in other countries and other languages. I feel I am very lucky and privileged to have that."
"Broken Embraces" has already had a theatrical run in much of the world, but opens in New York on 20 November. AP