Penelope Cruz booking

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Award winning and Oscar-nominated, beautiful and multi-lingual, actress Penélope Cruz was born in
San Sebastain de los Reyes, Madrid, Spain, to working-class parents, Eduardo, a car mechanic, and
Encarna, a hairdresser. She is the eldest of three: her brother Eduardo, is eleven years younger and a
singer; her sister Mónica, who looks very much like her, is three years younger and enjoying a career
as an actor and a flamenco dancer. Cruz was a natural performer who amused her family as an infant,
re-enacting TV adverts for their entertainment. However, she took up studying dance for her choice of
performance arts. She studied classical ballet for nine years at Spain’s National Conservatory and also
in New York, going on to dance under a series of prominent dancers.
However, when she was 15, Cruz, found her true vocation after winning a talent audition in the midst
of 300 other girls. Following this early success she landed several roles on Spanish TV shows and
music videos, paving the way for a career in films. One of her first appearances on television was in a
music video from a Spanish band called Mecano. Soon afterwards Cruz and band member Nacho
Cano were an item. As well as featuring in music videos, Cruz was chosen to present a Spanish
television show, La Quinta Marcha aimed at an adolescent audience. In the early days of her career,
Cruz exploited her sexiness and took a role in the French erotic TV series Serie Rose. In 1992, she
made her film debut in the dark, surreal and erotic film, Jamón Jamón, where she played La hija de
puta. Two years earlier, Bigas Luna, the film’s director and co-writer, was unable to cast Cruz as the
lead character in the torrid Edades de Lulu, as she was too young. Fixated with her, Luna waited and
his patience resulted in her breakthrough performance in Jamón Jamón. Cruz was nominated ‘Best
Newcomer’ by the Spanish Actors’ Union, ‘Best Lead Actress’ from the Goya awards and Fotogramas
de Plata’s ‘Best Movie Actress’. Cruz is said to maintain the film psychologically scarred her after
being required to do nudity and sex scenes. In her next film she played Elise, in the thriller El Laberinto
Griego, (The Greek Labyrinth), released in 1993. She went on to appear briefly in another thriller;
Timothy Dalton’s 1992 TV film, Framed. Next Cruz played Luz in Belle époque aka The Age of Beauty
(1992). Her character was one of four sisters out to seduce a handsome army deserter. The film won
an Oscar for ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ and amassed a huge amount of gongs elsewhere,
including a BAFTA for ‘Best Film not in the English Language’ and virtually swept the Goya Awards
(Spain’s Academy Awards) in 1993, Cruz won the Spanish Actors’ Union Award for ‘Film: Supporting
With an impressive apprenticeship to the craft, Cruz earned her place in Spanish cinema as a leading
lady. Her resume continued to grow over the following few years, clocking up three or four films each
year. In 1997 came a turning point for her already successful career: Taking the role of Isabel Plaza
Caballero in Carne Tremula, aka Live Flesh. The romantic thriller was subsequently nominated for an
Award from the Spanish Actors’ Union for ‘Film Performance in A Minor Role’. This was the first time
she worked with internationally renowned director Pedro Almodóvar, who in turn became her vehicle
for global fame and life-long friend. Almodóvar went onto use Cruz in future films – she was his muse,
and are very close to this day. Although Almodóvar is said to be gay, he clearly adores her feminine
attributes. Describing Cruz, he enthused: “Those eyes, her neck, her shoulders, her breasts! Penélope
has got one of the most spectacular cleavages in world cinema.” Her next film was a sci-fi thriller and
‘Art House Film’, Abre Los Ojos aka Open Your Eyes, where she played Sofia, who was caught in a
love-triangle. The film impressed Cameron Crowe and Tom Cruise so much, that they virtually
translated it word-for-word into English and remade it as Vanilla Sky.
Still in 1997, Cruz also proved she is an actress with a conscience and took two months away from
working to volunteer to Uganda. She also took time out to visit Mother Teresa’s children’s sanctuary in
Calcutta – setting up her own non-governmental organisation to support homeless girls and
tuberculosis sufferers in India. Cruz now uses her voice in Public Service Announcements recorded for
WFP to speak out about the 800 million people who live on the edge of starvation. She has also made
a corporate video calling for support for the agency in its efforts to stop 24,000 people dying of hunger
every day. Hi-Lo Country in 1998 was her first English language film. In this cowboy film, Cruz played

Josepha who cared deeply for Billy Crudup’s character Pete; playing along side Woody Harrelson as
Big Boy. The film was a story of the lasting bond of friendship between two hard-living men. Cruz
earned a nomination from ALMA Awards for ‘Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture’. 1999 saw Cruz
hit the jackpot playing a nun, in another film directed by Almodóvar, Todo Sobre Mi Madre aka All
About My Mother. The Spanish film won an Oscar and a BAFTA for ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ and
Almodóvar also picked up a number of awards that year for his acclaimed direction. With such a wellrespected film ‘under her belt’ Cruz was in demand on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
At the age of twenty-five, Cruz made the bold decision to move to the centre of the film industry’s
universe: Hollywood. Fully in command and on top of her career, she took on the role of a control freak
and successful chef in, Woman on Top (2000). Although this romantic comedy was an Englishlanguage film, the sound track had a Latin flavour and her character was Brazilian. In Billy Bob
Thornton’s western All the Pretty Horses (2000), with the tag line: Some passions can never be tamed,
Cruz was rumoured to be the paramour of Matt Damon. Following this meaty role, Cruz did curb her
desire for animal flesh and became a vegetarian. Cruz was nominated ‘Favourite Actress –
Drama/Romance’ by the Blockbuster Entertainment Awards. Now she had made the transition to
English-speaking films and with Los Angeles as her home. Next on Cruz’s agenda and call sheet, was
to star opposite Johnny Depp in Blow (2001). In this true story, Cruz played Jung’s wife; a beautiful,
self-indulgent party-girl named Mirtha. Filmed on the Greek island of Crete, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
(2001) saw Cruz play Pelagia, a doctor’s daughter and love interest for Corelli played by Nicolas
Cage. Like herself, her character was an educated and strong-willed woman. She went on to be
nominated in the European Film Awards for ‘Best Actress’. In Vanilla Sky (2001), Cruz picked a pay
cheque of two million US dollars up along with an ALMA Awards nomination for ‘Outstanding Actress
in a Motion Picture. The film starring Tom Cruise was a re-make of Abre Los Ojos, one of her earlier
projects from 1997 – she played the same part of Sophia. Although Cruz was now an internationally
renowned actress, Vanilla Sky was the film that made her a household name as she became famous
for being Tom Cruise’s girlfriend. They were splashed across tabloids and gossip magazines world
wide – after all, they not only looked like each other, they had the same surname! It was a symbiotic
relationship: she raised her profile in America while Tom raised his image as an irresistible Hollywood
hunky-heart-throb. Nonetheless, their relationship only lasted until January 2004 but they are still good
friends: Penélope was one of the first people to visit Tom’s new born baby girl Suri. She remains
resolutely private about her personal life and loyal to anyone who has meant anything to her. She
claimed: “Tom is a very good man, and I am very close to his whole family. I love his children, and his
mum, and all of his family, and he’s a great man.” Unlike Tom, Penélope didn’t follow Scientology but
has studied it. Having read many books on the subject, she has maintained Scientology helped her
with things in her life and grateful to it because of what she has learned. Cruz also argued Scientology
has the best anti-drug programme in the world and deserves a lot of credit for it – it has helped some
of her friends, in the past, to overcome drug addictions.
Cruz’s next film was Waking Up in Reno (2002) which saw her play Brenda the Call Girl, alongside
fellow cast Billy Bob Thornton and Patrick Swayze. The romantic comedy was about two trashy
couples who headed for a holiday in Reno to see a Monster Truck show and in turn, revealed their
immorality. Masked and Anonymous (2003) written by Bob Dylan and Larry Charles, saw Cruz star
along side Dylan and Jeff Bridges as Pagan Lace. Set against a fictitious backdrop of a nation on the
brink of revolution, it was a story about slimy promoters who planned a benefit concert and wanted a
performance from legendary singer Jack Fate (Dylan), who had been sprung from jail. A rock journalist
(Bridges) investigated the concert, attempting to determine just who would benefit. Cruz also learned
Italian because she wanted a part in the Italian film, Non Ti Muovere (2004) aka Don’t Move. It paid off
and she landed the role of Italia, a sexy downtown mistress to a successful surgeon. For this she won
two ‘Best Actress’ awards and was nominated twice for ‘Best Lead Actress’. In 2005, she appeared in
Sahara, a funny action and adventure film, where Cruz played Eva Rojas, a doctor searching for the
source of a plague that had broken out in Africa. Alongside her was Dirk Pitt, played by Matthew
McConaughey, on a mission to discover a battleship hidden some where under Sahara desert.

Despite opening at number one in the US box office and grossing $18 million on its first weekend, the
film flopped and failed to make as much as was used to produce it. In fact, Sahara is considered one
of the biggest financial failures in Hollywood history, but this did not derail Cruz’s career.
Chromophobia (2005) was an ensemble film, created by Martha Fiennes who wrote it, her brother
Ralph Fiennes starred in it and Magnus Fiennes conducted the film’s musical score. It debuted at the
Cannes Film Festival in France. The film was shot entirely in the UK and the Isle of Man. Cruz played
Gloria (yet another mistress) in this dark comedy drama that focussed on characters in a society
where privilege and birth were no longer powerful enough to protect the fortunate few, and where the
American values of money, beauty and success have become the cornerstones of contemporary
London life. Bandidas (2006) was another film written by Luc Besson, this time in conjunction with
Robert Mark Kamen. The comedy western’s plot line states: In turn-of-the-century Mexico, two very
different women become a bank-robbing duo in an effort to combat a ruthless enforcer terrorizing their
town. Cruz, who played Maria, got to work for the first time along side her best friend Salma Hayek
who played Sara. The pair started a rumour they were a lesbian couple after Cruz put her hand on
Hayek’s bottom at a press day for the film. Volver aka To Return (2006) was another film written and
directed by Pedro Almodóvar. Here at the age of only 32 Cruz played the role Raimunda, a mother.
She called this part the “coming-of-age gift” and said it was the first time she played a real woman
rather than a girl. Almodóvar had this film on hold for some years and was adamant Cruz was to play
the sexy, tough, mendacious, vulnerable and melodramatic mother – she gave the performance of her
life and the rewards rolled in: nominated in 2007’s BAFTA’s and Academy Awards for ‘Best Actress’
(she lost out to Helen Mirren in The Queen). The film and Cruz went on to win 5 awards and be
nominated 11 times across Europe.
In 2008, Cruz gained greater recognition when her role in romance comedy-drama Vicky Cristina
Barcelona earned her an Academy Award. The gong made her the first Spanish actress ever to
receive an Academy Award and the sixth Spanish actor overall to land one and was one of numerous
accolades for the role in the film. However, Cruz managed to get more than just worldwide recognition
from the movie as this is where she met her future husband; the Oscar Award-winning Spanish star
Javier Bardem. They started dating in 2007 while on the set of the film and went on to marry in a
private ceremony in July 2010.
Later in the year, Cruz’s spokesperson confirmed that the couple were expecting a child in March
2011, a revelation that was made after she was spotted with a bump on the set of Pirates of the
Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

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