Photo: Penelope Cruz at the TIFF
Spanish actress Penelope Cruz said at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) that she will never stop making films in Spain and in Spanish, but that she also would like to play a character with a British accent and take on the role of a stereotypical California “valley girl.”
Cruz presented her latest film “Venuto al mondo” (Twice Born), an Italian-Spanish co-production directed by Sergio Castellitto and also starring Emile Hirsch, Adnan Haskovic and Saadet Aksoy, on Thursday at the TIFF.
“I love being part of projects like this, although I’ll always want to keep working in my country and in Spanish. I’ll never stop for many reasons. It’s also quite refreshing to go back and work in my own language,” Cruz said.
“Because in this (film), as much as I loved it, it was a big challenge to shoot 70 percent of the film in English and the rest in Italian. But the English had to have an Italian accent. I love those challenges, but I can’t say it was easy,” she added.
Cruz, whose upcoming projects include British director Ridley Scott’s “The Counselor” and Spanish filmmaker’s Pedro Almodovar’s “Los amantes pasajeros” (I’m So Excited), said she has a passion for accents.
“I love accents. Now that I’m more comfortable in English, I’d like to play (a role with) a British accent. I have a character. She’s really fun, but I can’t talk about her. But it’s a character with a British accent,” she said.
“And I’d also like to play a ‘valley girl.’ One day,” the actress said laughing.
In an interview published last Saturday by Italian daily La Stampa, Cruz said that she plans to produce at least two films a year in her homeland to create jobs amid sky-high unemployment.
“I want to bring jobs to my people ... I’ll use my privileged position. It’s what interests me the most right now. I know it’s a grain of sand in the desert, but it’s a responsibility I think I have,” Cruz said.
“I’ll produce a couple of films a year. A way to give work to hundreds of people. It’s a set idea I have.”
Cruz, winner of a best-supporting actress Oscar for her role as an unstable artist in Woody Allen’s 2008 comedy-drama “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” said she has worked hard but also has had a lot of opportunities in life.
The talents of “an entire generation of highly trained young people” in Spain are being wasted, Cruz said, adding that though they have lots to offer there is nothing for them to do but “bang their heads against the wall or go out in the street and protest.”
Spain’s economy has been battered in recent years by the collapse of a massive real-estate bubble in the context of the 2008-2009 global recession.
The country’s unemployment rate stands at nearly 25 percent and at more than 50 percent among young people.
Despite the high joblessness, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government has opted for a series of austerity measures in recent months to bring a high budget deficit into line with European Union mandates.
Those measures have been harshly criticized by unions and sparked large-scale street protests.
Cruz told the Italian daily that her role of a single mother who brings her teenage son to Sarajevo in “Venuto al Mondo” and the character she played in Almodovar’s “Volver” (To Return) have been the two most challenging of her career thus far.