Penelope Cruz was the first Spanish-born actress to take an Academy Award home for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Never forgetting her roots1 in Spanish cinema, the actress is still the once and future muse of famed2 Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, starring in a total of four of his films, including his most recent Broken Embraces.
Penelope Cruz Sanchez was born on April 28, 1974, in Madrid, Spain. She displayed a proclivity3 for performance4 while she was still in diapers5, as she would often entertain her family members by re-enacting6 popular TV commercials. She eventually7 transferred this enthusiasm to the world of dance, and she studied classical ballet for nine years at Spain’s prestigious National Conservatory. Penelope Cruz seemed well on her way towards8 a career as a dancer, though there did come a point at which she was unexpectedly bitten by the acting bug.
While still in her teens, Penelope Cruz embarked9 on a quest to establish herself as an actress — with her professional debut coming in 1991 with a guest appearance on a French soap entitled Softly From Paris. While that appearance hardly brought her visibility, Penelope Cruz’s first film role in 1992’s Jamon, Jamon brought her to the attention of movie fans across the globe. The film, which costars Javier Bardem and was nominated for several Goya Awards, transformed10 Penelope Cruz into a sex symbol virtually overnight, while her starring role in the critically-acclaimed Belle Epoque (released that same year) only cemented her status as one of Spain’s most intriguing up-and-coming11 performers.
Penelope Cruz spent the next several years working steadily12 in a number of Spanish-language films, including 1996’s La Celestina (alongside Maribel Verdu) and 1997’s Pedro Almodovar effort Live Flesh. It wasn’t until Penelope Cruz took on a role in the mind-bending13 1997 flick14 Open Your Eyes that she once again found herself the focus of international attention, as the movie quickly became a cult classic thanks to its peculiar15 storyline and shocking conclusion16. A year later, Penelope Cruz made her English-language debut with a small role opposite Billy Crudup and Woody Harrelson in The Hi-Lo Country, though it wasn’t until the new millennium that she finally began establishing17 herself among mainstream North American audiences.
2000 proved to be the defining18 year of Penelope Cruz’s career, as the actress’ roles in Woman on Top and All the Pretty Horses propelled19 her to the top of Hollywood’s A-list. Though neither film was particularly20 successful, Penelope Cruz’s exotic looks21 and palpable22 abilities23 made her a hot commodity24 among some of the industry’s top directors and producers. Penelope’s output in 2001 was particularly prolific25, as she appeared opposite Nicolas Cage in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Johnny Depp in Blow, Gael Garcia Bernal in Don’t Tempt Me, and Tom Cruise in Vanilla Sky.
Penelope Cruz’s return to Spanish-language cinema with 2006’s Volver garnered26 the actress some of the best reviews of her career, and she was even nominated for her first Academy Award (she ultimately27 lost to28 Helen Mirren). Her success with Volver lead to her roles in 2007’s The Good Night alongside Gwyneth Paltrow and Simon Pegg, as well as Manolete opposite Oscar award winner, Adrien Brody.
2008 looked to be just as bright for Penelope Cruz as she took on the role of Consuela Castillo in Elegy along with Ben Kingsley and Dennis Hopper. Based on a novel, Elegy is a dramatic movie particularly suited29 to Penelope’s acting prowess.
Along with her casting calls, Penelope was also ranked30 as No. 58 in Maxim’s Hot 100 of 2007 list, and was chosen by Empire magazine as being one of the 100 Sexiest Movie Stars in the world.
At the 2009 Academy Awards, Penelope Cruz took home her first Oscar for her portrayal of an eccentric31 and tempestuous32 artist in Woody Allen’s film Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Cruz delivered part of her acceptance speech33 in Spanish, saying the award was in part dedicated to the people of Spain, her home country.
Penelope Cruz has had a long and storied career — she has, after all, appeared in almost 50 movies and television shows. There’s little doubt34 that she’s earned a place for herself within the pantheon of legendary Spanish imports. This is why she earned a No. 26 place on our Top 99 list of 2008 and No. 25 in 2009. Her latest films — Rob Marshall’s adaptation of the Broadway musical Nine opposite Daniel Day-Lewis, Nicole Kidman and Marion Cotillard and Pedro Almodovar’s Broken Embraces - are more proof that Penelope is as A-list as actresses come.
1 root – корень, основа, отправная точка
2 famed – известный, знаменитый
3 proclivity – склонность к чему-либо
4 performance – исполнение, актерская игра
5 diaper – детский подгузник, пеленка
6 re-enacting – повторение, воспроизведение «в лицах»
7 eventually – в конечном счете, в итоге
8 toward – на пути к чему-либо
9 embark – приступать к чему-либо
10 transform – изменять, превращать
11 up-and-coming – подающий надежды, перспективный
12 steadily – постоянно, без перерыва
13 mind bending – невероятный, потрясающий
14 flick - кинофильм
15 peculiar – необычный, специфический
16 conclusion – заключение, завершение
17 establishing – установление, упрочнение позиций
18 defining - определяющий
19 propel – подталкивать вперед
20 particularly - особенно
21 look - внешность
22 palpable – ясный, очевидный
23 ability - способность
24 commodity – предмет потребления
25 prolific – изобильный, богатый
26 garner – принести, собрать что-либо (также в перен. смысле)
27 ultimately – в итоге
28 lost to – проиграть кому-то
29 suited – подходящий (для чего-либо)
30 rank – располагаться в списке под определенным номером
31 eccentric – эксцентричная, экстравагантная
32 tempestuous – бурный, горячий
33 acceptance speech – речь в момент приема награды
34 doubt - сомнение
Читать еще в этой рубрике:
Читать еще в этом номере: