Penélope Cruz: “I said yes straight away to Everybody Knows”

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The first star of the Cannes film festival was called Penélope Cruz. With Javier Bardem and Asghar Farhadi, the director of Everybody Knows, she opened the festivities, and was then on the cover of Premiere.

France 3 is continuing its Cannes cycle. After Parasite, by Bong Joon-Ho, and Happy End, by Michael Haneke, last week, place on this Monday evening at Everybody Knows, by Asghar Farhadi, at 9:05 p.m., then The Redoubtable, by Michel Hazanavicius. In parallel, there is also a dozen films from previous Cannes festivals offered on France.TV.

Here is an excerpt from our interview with Penélope Cruz, who was on the cover of issue 458, from May 2018, to wait until the release of this film, which she shared the poster with her husband Javier Bardem, but also that of the new feature film by the Iranian filmmaker, who will return tomorrow on the Croisette, in competition, with A hero.

FIRST: Everybody Knows is your first film with Asghar Farhadi. What brings a superstar like you to enter his authoring universe?

Penelope cruz : Asghar called me for this movie four or five years ago. I said yes right away, even before reading the script. I love his movies. In recent years I’ve been in a lot of dramas and a few comedies – less because it’s harder to find good comedy! But Laura, my Everybody Knows character, was the most difficult to play. She is a suffering mother. During three quarters of the film, she looks desperate. Her daughter disappeared and I had to draw painful emotions from me. Asghar wanted us to have the feeling of watching a documentary. After each take, you can see in his eyes if he found you to be honest or if you are lying in your game. He notices everything. I had to be as authentic as possible.

How did you nurture this role of devastated mother?

Everything has changed since I had children. But it’s true that, when you look back, I’ve played mother roles before, especially in Volver. If I were to replay the character from Almodóvar’s film today, I don’t think I would interpret it any differently: in a way, I already knew, at the time, what that motherly feeling would be like without actually having it. proven. I didn’t know all the intricacies but I had it in me, maybe because I’m one of those women who know they’re going to be a mom since they were 3 or 4 years old. My maternal instinct has always been very developed! (Laughs.)

How do you manage, as actors, to be a couple on screen when you are also in the city? Doesn’t that confuse the emotions too much?

It is neither easier nor more difficult. You just have to make sure that, at the end of the day, there are no mixed feelings between fact and fiction, knowing how to keep mutual respect. We have a very similar way of working with Javier, we both work with the same theater teacher in Madrid, we like to prepare our roles very early on. And we try to separate professional and private life even if, of course, we sometimes discuss our work.

verybody Knows: The Cruz-Bardem show [Critique]

This chance is also that of going to the Cannes Film Festival, where Farhadi’s film will open the official selection. But you are a regular at the Croisette. Does it still matter to you?

I have been here six or seven times already. When you have the chance to compete, there is a casino side. It’s a bet. You never really know how the film is going to be received. I have known the good side of things, like Volver or All About My Mother, but I have also experienced lukewarm receptions. The only certainty: whatever happens, the screening will have an impact around the world. The reactions are rapid, the future of the film largely plays out at this point. I really like Asghar Farhadi’s film but you never know!

You have already received a prize in France this year, with your Honorary César. It was very surprising – and touching – to see you so moved when you have already won a lot of awards.

It was my first Caesar, that’s why! (Laughs.) It was very moving. With Pedro, Marion [Cotillard], my relatives, my Hispanic friends by my side … See my mother in front of me and thank her in front of all these people for not making fun of me when, one day, as a kid, I said to her: “Mum, he there is no cinema near where we live, but I want to try to be an actress. She didn’t laugh, didn’t try to calm my ardor. Neither did my father. They let me try it.

Asghar Farhadi: “I have more empathy for my female characters”

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