Penélope Cruz honored at the gala of the Museum of Modern Art


Penélope Cruz started acting when she was a child and played with her friends.

“I would pretend to be someone else. A different character. Sometimes from a movie I saw, sometimes from my own imagination. Cruz said Tuesday night when she was honored in New York at the Museum of Modern Art‘s annual Film Benefit gala. “I was convinced I was acting. My friends were convinced I was crazy.”

Cruz grew up in a suburb of Madrid, where she discovered her love for cinema while watching films on her father’s Betamax machine.

“I fell in love with Audrey [Hepburn] in ‘Love in the Afternoon’ I cried like Meryl [Streep] I had to make the hardest decision, I was terrified of ‘Jaws’, cried with Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger and learned a few steps from John Travolta in ‘Saturday Night Fever’ ”, a- she declared.

After watching “Tie Me Up!” Tie me up! ”For the first time, Cruz declared that she had returned to the Betamax store and rented all the Almodóvar films they had.

“It was clear from the way he wrote incredibly complex female characters how much Pedro loved and respected women,” she said. “I wouldn’t be here tonight, honored by MoMa, if I hadn’t had the privilege of working with brilliant directors who inspired me, taught me, helped me grow as an artist and as a person. . I want to thank them all tonight, and in particular my Pedro.

Almodóvar, who received the same distinction from MoMa ten years ago, worked with Cruz on eight feature films. The duo’s latest collaboration, “Parallel Mothers,” follows the story of two single women who bond in a maternity hospital while preparing for childbirth. The film received critical acclaim after its opening at the Venice Film Festival, where Cruz won the award for Best Actress.

“I continue to learn something new from him about acting, storytelling, the world, human behavior and myself,” said Cruz.

Anne Hathaway, Penélope Cruz and Diane Kruger.
Matteo Prandoni /

Almodóvar thanked Cruz for his hard work and dedication in a pre-recorded message. Rebecca Hall, Rosalía and Ricky Martin were there to talk about Cruz.

“Penélope effortlessly breathes warmth, and that’s as true on screen as it is off,” Hall said on stage. “She is, for me, the definition of a movie star. When you look at her, there is no pause between thoughts and emotion. Emotion exists for all of us because Penelope feels it and the camera captures it. That’s it. There was no other noticeable work involved. She also has glamor, the real kind. The kind that is fair. All the more brilliant as it is associated with grace.

Hall, who shared the Cruz screen in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” in 2008, called her co-star “an accomplished technician in her trade and a true actor in acting.”

“What do I mean by that?” Quite simply, it serves history, ”said Hall. “She abandons herself to the stage and to the other actors. When you’re in a scene with her, you feel listened to and seen, which is all any actor wants. “

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Penélope Cruz and Ricky Martin.
Darian DiCianno /

The benefit film was presented by Chanel, the film’s main sponsor at MoMA. Chanel has supported MoMA’s film exhibition program since 2009, which works to conserve a growing collection of film archives. This year’s guest list also included Anne Hathaway, Kristen Wiig, Riley Keough and Pom Klementieff.

“When it comes to Penélope Cruz, she might not be a woman. She’s more of a goddess than a woman,” Hathaway told reporters on the mat. “I feel like her performances are ambitious and accessible as well, I feel like I have a deeper understanding of what it means to be a woman because of that.

Cruz also took the time to address the changing state of cinema, which has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and new distribution platforms.

“I think we’ve realized that in a world that seems hurt, scared and divided, we maybe need all art forms more than ever,” Cruz said on stage. “We need a movie to not only see our own stories reflected to us, but to see each other’s stories told. And cinema is resilient, but we have to protect it. “

Ending on an upbeat note, Cruz said she believes the movie industry will survive.

“I felt that the experience of watching a movie in the cinema would survive,” she said. “I can’t imagine a world without him.”


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