For Penelope Cruz, the demand for ‘parallel mothers’ was difficult, but it was worth it

Fue hace unos 20 años, y Penélope Cruz se encontraba con su amigo y compatriota español Pedro Almodóvar en Nueva York. Almodóvar, que ya había dirigido a Cruz en más de una película, hablaba de una historia de dos madres que dan a luz el mismo día, una mujer mayor con ganas de criar un hijo y otra más joven con menos entusiasmo. Cruz estaba dispuesta a hacer la película -siempre está dispuesta a trabajar con Almodóvar-, pero el prolífico cineasta dejó de lado la idea y pasó a su siguiente proyecto. “A lo largo de los años me preguntaba qué iba a hacer con esa idea”, dice Cruz por teléfono desde Madrid.Para Penélope Cruz la exigencia de ‘Madres Paralelas’ fue difícil, pero valió la pena Para Penélope Cruz la exigencia de ‘Madres Paralelas’ fue difícil, pero valió la pena

Let's go at 2020, the year of the first Covid-19 closure.There was not much to celebrate, but for Cruz the news was good: Almodóvar, that I had time to write during the pandemic, called her and told her that she was working on the script of what would be "parallel mothers".And I wanted Cruz to play the role of Janis, the photographer and single mother with a secret that he preferred not to reveal.

"When the script sent me, I was hallucinated," says Cruz.“It is one of the most demanding and difficult characters that I have played.But I say it with a smile, of course, because I feel very lucky to trust me so much ".


At this point, that trust is more than won.

Since "Tremula meat" in 1997, Cruz has worked with Almodóvar in seven films.It is the closest thing to a fixed star that the filmmaker has.With the exception of the rare 2013 failure "I am so excited", a sexual farce aboard an airplane, all are jewels, which cover different periods of the actress's career, from the ascent to the Oscar winning star (it tookThe Actress Award for his work in the Woody Allen “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” film in 2008).

Para Penélope Cruz la exigencia de ‘Madres Paralelas’ fue difícil, pero valió la pena

Almodóvar, who won his Oscar for writing “Talk to her” in 2002, is probably the greatest melodrama teacher from Douglas Sirk, and Cruz knows exactly how to work in his emotional tone.He knows that the exaggerated material does not require that it exceeds, and maintains in the line of the ends at stake along most of its scripts.His interpretations are a ballast, but they do much more than that.They remind you of the essential humanity of Almodóvar.

For Cruz is not enough.


"Do not judge the characters, however twisted they can be," he says."It's a blessing to have that when we are acting, because we can't judge them either".

Like other Almodóvar films, including "Talk to her", "parallel mothers" focuses on a moral dilemma and presents the viewer a bad action performed on behalf of love."Everything that happens from the beginning of the tape is really challenging, with situations that are not very common in life," says Cruz.“She lives that great threat that, unfortunately, many people experience in different situations related to motherhood.But in your case it is very peculiar and particular ".

It is not the first time that star and director collaborate to tell a story about motherhood.In "All about my mother" (1999), who won the Oscar to the film in a foreign language, Cruz played a pregnant and seropositive nun.In "Back" (2006), for which Cruz obtained his first Oscar nomination, his character, Raimunda, is far from his mother, who may or may not be dead.Motherhood is both sacred and spiny in the world of Almodóvar, a deeply rewarding but complex proposal."He always saw a great maternal instinct in me," says Cruz.

This time, however, there was a difference.Cruz now has a son and a daughter with her husband, Javier Bardem.Maternity is living."As actors, we do not need to go through all the experiences that our characters live," he says."But now it is more at the cellular level.Every cell of my body immediately understands that fear or that concern or that happiness of being a mother ”.

Cruz has already won the main actress awards of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the Venice Film Festival;An Oscar nomination seems likely.He says he doesn't think much about those things, with some exceptions.The Venice Award last September was special, because he first attended the festival in 1992 with his first film, "Ham, ham".When he learned that he had won, he cried inconsolably.“My daughter looked at me very serious, wondering:‘ Mom, why do you cry?They are giving you an award ’.Winning there with a tape that I made with Pedro was an incredible experience for me ".

Cruz continues to do the occasional Hollywood film, such as the recent action thriller "The 355", in which he plays a Colombian psychologist/spy.But where is the most shines in Spanish cinema.In fact, he has presented two of them in Venice: "Parallel mothers" and the comedy of the world of the show "Official Competition", which stars with Antonio Banderas.Its premiere is scheduled by the end of this year.

At the moment, you can savor your last work with your favorite collaborator.And wait for the next.

"I never tell him no," he says.


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