Monday, October 19, 2009
Come to me, Penélope
Reading the article on Penélope Cruz in the November issue of Vanity Fair makes me think how much of our own destiny we create. Cruz was born with the beauty, but willed herself to become a movie star. She even came to Hollywood and learned English to further her career. How many American movie stars would do the reverse? Not many, if any.
Cruz saw a film by Pedro Almodóvar when she was 15, deciding then that being an actress would be her career path. She lied about her age so she could do the sexy scenes in her first film.
The author of the Vanity Fair piece, Ingrid Sischy, wrote that Cruz has "a bit of a schnoz," which, if Penélope was baffled when she read that word, I will translate. Penny, baby, it means she thinks you have a big nose. Far from being a "schnoz," which she so cattily calls it, I think Cruz's nose gives her face great character.
It doesn't surprise me to read that Cruz and Sophia Loren became friends. They are twins of circumstance, both being noticed initially because of their looks, and then being respected for their talent.
Penélope's makeup is of the Gina Lollabridgida/Sophia Loren school, with its strong emphasis on the eyes. (Leading our own eyes away from "the schnoz"...?)
I've written before about my favorite American movie star, Amy Adams, and Penélope Cruz may be the polar opposite in looks, dark Spanish to Adams' Northern Euro origins. But they both have the ability to take over the screen when they walk into a scene.
These pictures, lifted from www.vf.com, are gorgeous. My initial reaction to seeing them was, "Mamma mia!" The photography by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott is nothing short of genius. They had a lot to work with, but they really brought out a lot of what makes Penélope Cruz so special. I especially love the stocking pics, guys! Good show, there. "Mamma mia!" indeed.
In the article Woody Allen, who wrote and directed Cruz's Oscar-winning Vicky Cristina Barcelona is quoted as saying, "I don't like to look at Penélope directly. It is too overwhelming." Luckily, the rest of us don't have that same problem.