There are but a small handful of actors out there, who
consistently choose great scripts and films to work in, where
every one of their films look compelling, and where you have no
doubt that any film starring them will be nothing less than good,
if not great. Penelope Cruz, one of the most artistic, daring,
and gifted actresses of our time is one such talent. Upon winning
The Academy Award® for best Performance by an actress in a
supporting role in the film ‘Vicky Cristina
Barcelona,’ directed by Woody Alan, she spoke with the
press backstage after the Oscar’s® for a fascinating
Q. Hi Penélope. Congratulations. One of your co stars from the upcoming musical NINE. Sophia Loren is here tonight. Can you talk about working with her?
PENELOPE CRUZ: …Sophia is incredible. She's one of the most special people I've ever met, and we've become very good friends and she's become like my second mom. She tells me what to eat. She's just so real and she has seen everything. You can sit down with her and she will tell you stories about De Sica, Mastroianni, Fellini and she knows everything about all of them. And she's a woman with a heart of gold.
Q. …one of the things you kept saying at Cannes and later for this film is that you were very insecure about your performance, and I'm wondering if suddenly getting an Oscar makes any difference to this struggle that you have every time you do a role in regards to that issue?
PENELOPE CRUZ: No. I mean, I'm always insecure on the set no matter what. When you're working with Woody Allen you know that you can trust the person that you're working with and if he doesn't like something he will tell you. If he likes it, he will tell you…
Q. You talked about the dream (of making it in Hollywood) being very far away, impossible. Along the way nobody made it easy for you. There were times when they said you were too beautiful, times when they said you couldn't conquer English. What were the things that stood in your way? What were the things that encouraged you to go after this crazy dream?
PENELOPE CRUZ: Sometimes invalidations like that I have to keep climbing mountains and sometimes there are some things that are better not to listen, it's better not to engage in those debates. So could you work in America if you have an accent? Yes, you can. And that has been changing in the last 10 or 15 years. It was much harder before, but movies represent life, movies represent what happens in the streets. Then we are all in this together. In this room how many accents are here and not just people that are here this week, people, but maybe half of them or at least a quarter of them live here. And we are all mixed together more and more every day and that has to be reflected in cinema, so I'm happy that finally that door seems to be more open and not just to me and three other people. It's to a much bigger group.
Q. Great. Thank you very much and congratulations.
PENELOPE CRUZ: Thank you.
Copyright © Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. © 2009, The Hollywood Sentinel. Used with permission with kind courtesy of the 81st Academy Awards®.