Captain Corelli’s Mandolin: Penelope Cruz stars in 2001 film
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Hollywood actress Penélope Cruz and iconic Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar spoke about their film Parallel Mothers on today’s episode of The Graham Norton Show. The Spanish drama film features Penélope and her co-star Rossy de Palma, who portray two single mothers who give birth on the same day.
Penélope, 47, began by praising the film’s director Pedro for placing “a lot of trust” in her judgement.
Talking about the birth scenes in the film, she said: “Pedro is so great because he knows so much about almost everything but when there is something he is not an expert in, he is not afraid to ask questions.
“He gave me and the other women a lot of freedom and trust.
“He pointed the camera at me and just said, ‘Have a baby’”.
The star went on to reveal that she was completely devoted to the baby they would have on set, admitting that their bond made her have a “crazy reaction”.
She explained: “We were all trying to take care of her and compete for her affection. I am sure she was really confused.
“I also had a crazy reaction when anyone tried to take the real baby or the prop doll away from me.
“I think it is a good sign that after four months of rehearsal and three months of shooting that things start to happen in your head.”
Pedro also had a lot of praise for Penélope, deeming her the “perfect type of mother”.
He somewhat controversially claimed that the typical Spanish housewife depicted in cinema was “short and fat” and therefore “not attractive at all”.
He went on to explain that since the Oscar-winning actress had moved into those kinds of roles, housewives in Spanish films had since become “very attractive”.
On tonight’s show, Graham will also welcome X-Men star James McAvoy, rising star Nicôle Lecky, and singer-songwriter Ella Henderson.
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James spoke about his role in 2021 thriller My Son, which relied heavily on his ability to improvise.
Bizarrely, while the rest of the cast and crew were aware of the story ahead of time, James was the only actor left in the dark ahead of the Christian Carion film.
Meanwhile, Nicôle discussed writing and starring in new BBC Three drama series Mood, which follows a 25-year-old wannabe singer and rapper and her struggle to escape a world that is more sinister than she could have possibly imagined.
This is the actress’ first leading role in a series, but she has already appeared in several high-profile shows over the past decade, including Death In Paradise, Bloods, Sense8, Fresh Meat and Casualty.
Ghost singer Ella also gave Graham’s studio audience a live performance of new song Brave, before joining him for a chat on the sofa.
The star came sixth in the ninth series of The X Factor UK in 2012 despite being an audience favourite, but then she was signed with Syco Music shortly after, and went on to be more successful than most of the show’s past winners.
Next week, Graham will be joined by guests including Taron Egerton, Minnie Driver, Uma Thurman, Ariana DeBose, and Lola Young.
The Graham Norton Show, Friday 28th January BBC One 10.35pm and available on BBC iPlayer.
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