Penélope Cruz (Left) as Laura
Penélope Cruz (Laura) has proven herself to be one of the most versatile actresses by playing a variety of compelling characters, and becoming the first actress from Spain to be nominated for and win an Academy Award®.
First introduced to American audiences in the Spanish films Jamon, Jamon and Belle Epoque, Cruz starred in her first English language film, Hi-Lo Country, in 1998 for director Stephen Frears opposite Woody Harrelson, Patricia Arquette, and Billy Crudup. In 1999, Cruz won the Best Actress award at the 13th Annual Goya Awards given by the Spanish Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences for her role in Fernando Trueba’s The Girl of Your Dreams.
Confirming her status as Spain’s hottest international actress, Cruz landed a series of coveted roles. She appeared in Billy Bob Thornton’s All the Pretty Horses, Fina Torres’s Woman on Top, Alejandro Amenabar’s Open Your Eyes, Maria Ripoll’s Twice Upon a Yesterday, and Nick Hamm’s Talk of Angels. Additionally, Cruz co-starred in Pedro Almovodar’s Live Flesh and critically acclaimed All About My Mother, which was awarded the Golden Globe and Oscar® for Best Foreign Film.
Next up for Cruz was New Line’s Blow for director Ted Demme and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin opposite Nicolas Cage. After that, she starred opposite Tom Cruise in the erotic thriller Vanilla Sky. She then tackled Masked & Anonymous, Fan Fan la Tulipe, which opened the 2003 Cannes Film Festival, and Don’t Tempt Me. She received rave reviews for her eagerly awaited performance in Don’t Move (Non ti Muovere) in which she was honored with a David Di Donatello Award (Italian Oscar) and European Film Award for Best Actress. To add to her already brilliant and diverse choice of film credits, she starred in films including Gothika; Head in the Clouds; Noel; and Chromophobia. Cruz also co-stared with Matthew McConaughey and William H. Macy as Dr. Eva Rojas in the action-packed film Sahara.
In 2006, Cruz starred in Volver, which again teamed her with director and dear friend Pedro Almodovar. Critically acclaimed for her role as Raimunda, she won the Best Actress awards at the European Film Awards, the Spanish Goya Awards, the Cannes Film Festival, and received both Golden Globe and Oscar® nominations. Cruz went on to star in Elegy opposite Sir Ben Kingsley and Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona opposite Javier Bardem and Scarlett Johansson. She an Oscar®, a BAFTA, an NYFCC, and an NBR Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the film.
In 2009, Cruz and Pedro Almodóvar were back in action for the fourth time with Broken Embraces, for which she again received critical acclaim for her portrayal of Lena. Also in 2009, Cruz teamed up with director Rob Marshall and co-starred alongside Nicole Kidman, Daniel Day Lewis, and Marion Cotillard in the film version of the musical Nine. Her standout portrayal of Carla garnered SAG, Golden Globe, and Oscar® nominations. Her third Oscar® nomination made history as it marked only the third time in history that the winner of the Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actress was nominated for Best Supporting Actress the following year.
In 2011, Cruz starred opposite Johnny Depp in the international blockbuster hit Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the fourth installment of the movie series directed by Rob Marshall. That summer, she also filmed Woody Allen’s To Rome with Love, which was released June 22, 2012. The Rome-set film also stars Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Judy Davis, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig and Ellen Page. Cruz starred in Ridley Scott’s 2013 thriller The Counselor alongside Cameron Diaz, Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, and Brad Pitt. She went on to star in Twice Born directed by Sergio Castellitto, with whom she previously starred in his critically acclaimed film Don't Move.
In 2016, Cruz starred in Zoolander 2, the long-awaited sequel to the 2001 comedy directed by and starring Ben Stiller, as well as Louis Leterrier’s The Brothers Grimsby, alongside Sacha Baron Cohen, Ian McShane, Rebel Wilson, and Isla Fisher. She went on to produce and star in Ma Ma, directed by acclaimed Spanish director Julio Medem. The film premiered at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival and was released in May 2016. Fernando Trueba’s The Queen of Spain was released in November 2016 and earned Cruz her 9th Spanish Goya Award nomination.
This past year, she appeared in 20th Century Fox’s Murder on the Orient Express, based on the 1934 Agatha Christie novel, with a strong ensemble cast including Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Michael Pena, Judi Dench, and Josh Gad, as well as Kenneth Branagh who also directed. She also starred in Loving Pablo opposite Peter Sarsgaard and Javier Bardem. Written and directed by Fernando Leon de Aranoa, the film follows a journalist who strikes up a romantic relationship with notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar. The film premiered at the 2017 Venice, Toronto and San Sebastian Film Festivals.
This past January, she made her U.S. television debut as Donatella Versace, the sister of murdered fashion designer Gianni Versace, in FX’s “American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” the third installment in the Emmy®-winning anthology series from Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson, and Brad Simpson. In March, she was presented with the Honorary César Award for her collective work in film from France’s Academy of Arts and Techniques of Cinema during the 43nd Cesar Awards ceremony in Paris.
Her latest film, Asghar Farhadi’s Spanish-language psychological thriller Everybody Knows, premiered as the Opening Night of the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. Next up, Cruz will appear in 355, a large-scale espionage film directed by Simon Kinberg with an all-star international spy cast including Jessica Chastain, Marion Cotillard, Fan Bingbing, and Lupita Nyong’o.