At the press day for Broken Embraces, her latest work with Almodovar, Penelope Cruz talked about the grueling process of singing, dancing and acting in the highly anticipated, Rob Marshall-directed musical Nine, opening Christmas Day, and explained why she filmed a cameo for Sex and the City 2.
You have two films, back-to-back Broken Embraces and Nine , that involve the difficulties that a director has getting his next project done. What were those experiences like for you? To tell you the truth, there is a magic factor that is sometimes on a movie set, that is a really, really beautiful thing that cannot be compared to anything else, if you are somebody that is really passionate about acting or directing or the world of movies.
It was very, very beautiful to see that. In Broken Embraces, we had two crews, the real one and the fake one. The first few days, it was a little bit confusing to know who was real and who was an actor. I would step back and take pictures of the two sets. The set was so huge and so alive, and such a beautiful chaos. There is a lot of chaos on a movie set, which Nine is a lot about. Nine is about the chaos of creating and the crisis of a director.
The whole year has been about movies that were an homage to cinema. Can you talk a little bit more about the process you went through, making Nine? When you finally do it, you have this feeling of freedom that is amazing. When you really have the preparation time and things start taking the shape that they need, you have a beautiful feeling that comes from the hard work.
Well, the film is a musical, so it was really about that. There was no way to do that movie without learning those things. We also had to audition for the singing and the dancing. It was a huge part of it, and there was no way to fake anything. Did you gain a lot from doing films that show so many different sides of your talent? I feel like I learned a lot because of working with all these amazing people.
And, I enjoyed the process of making both movies a lot. They could not be more different. And then, to be able to explore the genre of the musical is nice. It was great to be able to sing professionally, for the first time, and dance, which was something that I did growing up, but I had not done for many, many years.
It was a scary experience, but at the same time, I think everyone who was there will tell you that we all had an amazing time. Everybody had a smile on their faces, the whole time, because music was very present. We were training for five hours a day, so everybody was very peaceful because we were all very exhausted. It was a dream to be able to do these two movies, in one year. What kind of roles are you looking for now? What is your role in Sex and the City 2?
I shot for half a day. I have always done that, since I began working. I always drive directors crazy with questions. And, when they get tired of me, I go talk to the D. If I have a scene that is not too demanding, I can put time into that. I love learning on the set. But, directing is not something I want to do now. Maybe in 10 or 15 years. Now, my plate is full with just acting.
I want to focus on that, and then maybe direct in the future.