W Magazine Volume 2, The Directors Issue, on stands on March 8th features Academy Award winning actor Penélope Cruz in “The Carmen Auditions”, directed and photographed by Spanish film director, Pedro Almodóvar. Now in its fourth iteration, The Directors Issue celebrates some of the greatest and most talked about directors in film this year. Shot at Almodóvar’s offices in Madrid, the director pays tribute to his longtime muse Penélope Cruz, who has starred in seven of his films, and also makes a cameo as himself in the cover story. In the first of four covers, Penélope Cruz and Pedro Almodóvar discuss the reinvention of Carmen for the shoot and their work together over the years.
Penélope Cruz on channeling Carmen for the W Magazine shoot: “I have wanted to play Carmen since I was 4,”… “I was a ballet dancer, and Carmen is one of the great roles in ballet. When Pedro told me that we were reimagining Carmen, I was so happy.”
Pedro Almodóvar on turning down Brokeback Mountain: “I was really sad that I didn’t say yes.” “Sad in the sense that I loved the short story by Annie Proulx and also the script. But I know myself, and I knew that I needed much more of a sexual sequence than they had in the movie. Even though I was given assurances that they would let me do whatever I wanted to do, the way that I understood the sex between the characters was almost like this animalistic lovemaking. I would have added a lot of sex scenes, and I don’t think they truly would have let me. I love the Ang Lee movie, but in my version, the two men were not in love—it was something completely physical.”
Pedro Almodóvar touches on Penélope and wardrobe: “It’s interesting with Penélope and clothes: In her first film with me, all the clothes were secondhand, but Penélope just turns everything into fashion. I say, ‘You’re a whore coming from a small village,’ but it doesn’t matter. It’s nearly impossible, because Penélope looks great even with a poor outfit.”
Pedro Almodóvar on the power of the color Red: “It’s such a strong color that it just absorbs everything that’s near it.”… “In Spanish culture, red represents passion, and fire, and blood, and death—all of that.”
Pedro Almodóvar discusses Parallel Mothers and Penélope’s role: “If I can tell the story of Spain through anyone, it would be Penélope,”… “Her character has always been maternal in the best possible way. Even when she was so young, she always had that capacity, that generosity, that gift.”
Story by Lynn Hirschberg, Directed & Photographed by Pedro Almodóvar and Styled by Katie Grand.
[Photo Credit: Pedro Almodóvar/Courtesy of W Magazine]
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