Cannes 2018: Penelope Cruz ‘didn’t torture herself’ for anguished mother role

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Penelope Cruz Image copyright Reuters

Penelope Cruz has insisted she did not draw on her private life as Javier Bardem’s wife to play her latest role.

“We don’t take our characters home at the end of the day,” the Spanish star told journalists at the Cannes Film Festival.

In Everybody Knows, which opened the festival on Tuesday, Cruz plays a mother whose teenage daughter is kidnapped.

Cruz, who has two children with Bardem, also revealed she was paid the same as her husband for appearing in Asghar Farhadi’s drama.

In the film, Cruz plays a mother who turns to an ex-boyfriend, played by Bardem, when her child is abducted.

Yet the actress said she did not draw on her own experiences as a mother to evoke the painful emotions the job required.

“Maybe I did that experiment when I was younger,” Cruz said on Wednesday.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem have been married since 2010

“When I was in my twenties, I thought the more I tortured myself the more I would stay in character and the better the result would be.

“Now I have a life and I have my job, which allows me to jump between reality and fiction many times a day.

“It would not make your life better if you used certain things from your private life.”

Iranian director Farhadi, who won Oscars for his films A Separation and The Salesman, shot Everybody Knows in Spain despite not knowing the language.

Bardem praised the result as “one of the most Spanish films a director can make”, adding: “It’s very gratifying to see someone from a totally different culture do such a wonderful piece of work.”

More from Cannes:

Cruz echoed her husband’s sentiments, describing the director as “a sponge” who had “put many years of his life” into the project.

“I deeply believe human beings are no different depending on their culture,” said Farhadi. “When it comes to emotions and feelings, we’re basically all the same.”

The director said he hoped his film would eventually be shown in his home country “without being edited differently” by authorities.

Farhadi is one of two Iranian directors this year whose films have been chosen to compete for the Palme d’Or, Cannes’ highest accolade.

The other, Jafar Panahi, has been barred from leaving Iran since 2010 and will not be able to attend this weekend’s screenings of his film Three Faces.

“It’s a strange feeling for me to be able to be here while he is not,” said Farhadi. “I continue to hope he will be able to come.

“It’s wonderful he’s able to continue his work in the face of such adversity.”

The Cannes Film Festival continues until 19 May.

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