Penelope Cruz: Hot Hollywood Celebrity Photo Gallery of the Day
HollywoodNews.com: Our selected celebrity to be included in our “Hot Hollywood Celebrity Photo Gallery of the Day” is Penelope Cruz.
Penélope Cruz Sánchez (born April 28, 1974) is a Spanish actress. Signed by an agent at age 15, she made her acting debut at 16 on television and her feature film debut the following year in Jamón, jamón (1992), to critical acclaim. Her subsequent roles in the 1990s and 2000s included Open Your Eyes (1997), The Hi-Lo Country (1999), The Girl of Your Dreams (2000) and Woman on Top (2000). Cruz achieved recognition for her lead roles in Vanilla Sky and Blow. Both films were released in 2001 and were commercially successful worldwide.
In the 2000s she has appeared in films from a wide range of genres, including the comedy Waking Up in Reno (2002), the thriller Gothika (2003), the Christmas movie Noel (2004), the action adventure Sahara (2005), the animated G-Force and the musical drama Nine. Her most notable films to date are Volver (2006), for which she earned Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations, and Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008), for which she received an Academy Award. She was the first Spanish actress in history to receive an Academy Award and the first Spanish actress to receive a star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Cruz has modeled for companies such as Mango, Ralph Lauren and L’Oréal. Cruz and her younger sister Mónica Cruz have designed items for Mango. She has donated both her time and money to charities. Cruz has volunteered in Uganda and India, where she spent one week working for Mother Teresa; she donated her salary from The Hi-Lo Country to help fund the late nun’s mission.
In 1989, 15 year-old Cruz debuted and starred in the video clip of the song La Fuerza del Destino of the synth-pop trio Mecano. Between 1990 and 1997, Cruz hosted the Spanish TV channel Telecinco’s talk show La Quinta Marcha , a program that was hosted by teenagers, aimed at a teenage audience. She also played in the Elle et lui episode of an erotic French TV series called Série rose in 1991, where she appeared totally naked. In 1992, Cruz made her feature film debut at 17 as the lead female role in the comedy drama art house film, Jamón, jamón. In the film, she portrayed Silvia, a young woman who is expecting her first child with a man whose mother does not approve of the relationship and attempts to sabotage it by paying Javier Bardem’s character to seduce her. People magazine noted that after Cruz appeared topless in the film, she became “a major sex symbol.” In an interview with the Los Angeles Daily News in 1999, Cruz commented that “it was a great part, but…I wasn’t really ready for the nudity. But I have no regrets because I wanted to start working and it changed my life.” Charlie Ross of 60 Minutes noted that Cruz “became an overnight sensation as much for her nude scenes as for her talent.” When Ross asked Cruz if she was concerned about how she would be perceived after her role in the film, Cruz replied, “I just knew I had to do the complete opposite.”
Jamón, jamón received broadly favorable reviews, with Chris Hicks of the Deseret News describing Cruz’s portrayal of Silvia as “enchanting.” Writing for the Chicago Sun-Times, film critic Roger Ebert wrote “[The film] stars actors of considerable physical appeal, most particularly Penelope Cruz as Silvia.” For her performance, Cruz was nominated for a Spanish Actors Union Newcomer Award and a Goya Award for Best Actress. The same year she appeared in the Academy-Award winning Belle Epoque as the virginal Luz. People magazine noted that Cruz’s role as Luz showed that she was versatile. From 1993 to 1996, Cruz appeared in ten Spanish and Italian films. At 20, she went to live in New York for two years at Christopher and Greenwich to study ballet and English between movies. She recalls learning English “kinda of late” only knowing the dialogue she had learned for the casting beyond that, she could only say, “How are you?” and “Thank you.”
A close-up of a female with dark brown hair roots, and the rest of her hair is medium brown. Her hair is short and the bottom of her hair is curly. She is wearing a small cross necklace on her neck and a tan colored shirt that has a long shirt collar.
In 1997, Cruz appeared in the Spanish comedy film Love Can Seriously Damage Your Health. She portrays Diana, a fan of The Beatles band member John Lennon; she tries unsuccessfully to meet him. Years later, after multiple failed relationships, Diana re-unites with an acquaintance under unusual circumstances. Also in 1997, she appeared in the opening scene of Pedro Almodóvar’s Live Flesh as a prostitute who gives birth on a bus and in Et hjørne af paradis (A Corner of Paradise) as Doña Helena. Cruz’s final appearance in 1997 was the Amenabar-directed Spanish sci-fi drama Open Your Eyes. She plays Sofia, the girlfriend of lead character’s best friend, who eventually begins a brief relationship with the lead character. Open Your Eyes received positive reviews but was not commercially successful, grossing $370,000 in the United States. Kevin N. Laforest of the Montreal Film Journal commented in his September 2002 review that Cruz “has been getting some really bad reviews for her recent American work, but I personally think that she’s a more than decent actress, especially here, where she’s charming, moving and always believable. [...] There’s one shot in particular, where Cruz enters a room in a greenish glow, which is right out of Hitchcock’s picture [Vertigo].”
The following year, Cruz appeared in her first American film as Billy Crudup’s consolation-prize Mexican girlfriend in Stephen Frears’ western film, The Hi-Lo Country. Cruz stated that she had difficulties understanding people speaking English while she was filming The Hi-Lo Country. The film was critically and commercially unsuccessful. Kevin Lally of the Film Journal International commented in his review for the film that “in an ironic casting twist, the Spanish actress Penelope Cruz [...] is much more appealing as Josepha [than in her previous roles].” For her performance in the film, she was nominated for an ALMA Award for Best Actress. Also in 1998 Cruz appeared in Don Juan and The Girl of Your Dreams.
In The Girl of Your Dreams, Cruz portrayed Macarena Granada, a singer who is in an on-and-off relationship with Antonio Resines’s character, Blas. They are part of a movie troupe that moved from Spain to Berlin (Germany) for a joint production with UFA during the years of Nazis. Cruz’s performance in the film was praised by film critics, with Jonathan Holloland of Variety magazine writing “if confirmation is still needed that Cruz is an actress first and a pretty face second, then here it is.” A writer for Film4 commented that “Cruz herself is the inevitable focus of the film” but noted that overall the film “looks great.” Cruz’s role as Macerna has been viewed as her “largest role to date.” For her performance, Cruz received a Goya Award and Spanish Actors Union Award, and was nominated for a European Film Award. In 1999, Cruz worked with Almodóvar again in All About My Mother, playing Sister María Rosa Sanz, a pregnant nun with AIDS. The film received favorable reviews, and was commercially successful, grossing over $67 million worldwide, although it performed better at the box office internationally than domestically.
In 2000, she appeared in Woman on Top in the lead female role as Isabelle, a world-class chef who has suffered from motion sickness since birth, her first American lead role. Lisa Nesselson of Variety magazine praised the performances of both Cruz and her co-star, Harold Perrineau, saying they “burst off the screen,” and added that Cruz has a charming accent. BBC film critic Jane Crowther said that “Cruz is wonderfully ditzy as the innocent abroad” but remarked that “it’s Harold Perrineau Jr as Monica who pockets the movie.” Annlee Ellingson of Box Office magazine wrote “Cruz is stunning in the role—innocent and vulnerable yet possessing a mature grace and determined strength, all while sizzling with unchecked sensuality.”[ Also in 2000, she played Alejandra Villarreal, who is Matt Damon's love interest in Billy Bob Thornton's film adaptation of the western bestselling novel, All the Pretty Horses. Susan Stark of the Detroit News commented that in the film Thornton was able to guide Damon, Henry Thomas and Cruz to "their most impressive performances in a major movie yet." However, Bob Longigo of the Atlanta Journal Constitution was less enthusiastic about Cruz and Damon's performance, saying that their "resulting onscreen chemistry would hardly warm a can of beans."
2001 marked a turning point when Cruz starred in the feature films Vanilla Sky and Blow. In Vanilla Sky, Cameron Crowe's interpretation of Open Your Eyes, she played Sofia Serrano, the love interest of Tom Cruise's character. The film received mixed reviews but made $200 million worldwide. Her performance was well received by critics, with BBC film critic Brandon Graydon saying that Cruz "is an enchanting screen presence," and Ethan Alter of the Film Journal International noting that Cruz and her co-star Cruise were "able to generate some actual chemistry." Her next film was Blow, adapted from Bruce Porter's 1993 book Blow: How a Small Town Boy Made $100 Million with the Medellin Cocaine Cartel and Lost It All. She had a supporting role as Mirtha Jung, the wife of Johnny Depp's character. The film received mixed reviews, but made $80 million worldwide. Nina Willdorf of the Boston Phoenix described Cruz as "multi-talented" and Mark Salvo of the Austin Chronicle wrote "I may be one of the last male holdouts to join the Cruz-Rules camp, but her tour de force performance here sucks you right in."
In 2001, she also appeared in Don't Tempt Me, playing Carmen Ramos. The film received negative reviews, Jeff Vice of the Deseret News commented that "unfortunately, casting Cruz as a tough girl is a hilariously bad one..." and Michael Miller of the Village Voice writing that "as Satan's helper Carmen, Penélope Cruz doesn't hold a candle to her cocaine-huffing enabler in Blow." Cruz's last film in 2001 was Captain Corelli's Mandolin, film adaption of the novel of the same name. She played Pelagia, who falls in love with another man while her fiancé is in battle during World War II. Captain Corelli's Mandolin was not well received by critics, but made $62 million worldwide. In 2002, she had a minor role in Waking Up in Reno. It had negative reviews and was a box office failure, making $267,000 worldwide. The following year, Cruz had a minor role in the horror film Gothika, as Chloe Sava, a patient at a mental hospital. David Rooney of Variety wrote that Cruz "adds a serviceably malevolent edge to Chole's apparent madness." Cruz's performance in Fanfan la Tulipe, also in 2003, was not well received, Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian commenting that Cruz "deserves a special Cannes Razzie for a performance of purest teak."
In 2004, Cruz appeared in the Christmas film Noel as Nina, the girlfriend of Paul Walker's character and as Mia in the romantic drama, Head in the Clouds, set in the 1930s. Head in the Clouds performed poorly at the box office. For Head in the Clouds, Bruce Birkland of Jam! Canoe said, "The story feels forced and the performances dreary, with the notable exception of Cruz, who seems to be in a different film from the rest of the cast." Desson Thompson of the Washington Post was more critical; his comment about the character's "pronounced limp" was that "Cruz (hardly the world's greatest actress) can't even perform without looking fake." She also starred in Sergio Castellitto’s melodrama Don’t Move. Cruz, who learned Italian for the role, earned critical acclaim for her performance and won the David di Donatello. She was also awarded the European Film Award for Best Actress for the film in 2004.
In 2005, Cruz appeared as Dr Eva Rojas in the action adventure Sahara. She earned $1.6 million for her supporting role. The film grossed $110 million worldwide but did not recoup its $160 million budget. Moviefone dubbed the film "one of the most famous flops in history" and in 2007, listed it at 24 on its list of "Biggest Box-Office Turkeys of All Time". Lori Hoffman of the Atlantic City Weekly felt Cruz put her "considerable [acting] skills on cruise control as Dr Eva Rojas” and James Berardnelli of ReelViews described Cruz’s performance as a “black hole,” that she “lacks screen presence.” Also in 2005, Cruz appeared in Chromophobia, screened at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival and released the following year. Mathew Turner of View London said Cruz’s character Gloria, a cancer-riddled prostitute, is “actually more interesting than the main storyline” while Time Evan’s of Sky Movies wrote, “The Cruz/Ifans storyline – featuring the only two remotely sympathetic characters – never really fuses with the main plot.” Her final 2005 film was Don’t Move playing Italia. Eric Harrison of the Houston Chronicle noted that Cruz “goes all out” with her appearance and Patrick Peters of Empire magazine commented that the film’s director, who also appears in the film, was able to draw a “sensitive performance” from Cruz.
Cruz appeared in the 2006 Western comedy film, Bandidas, as María Álvarez, a poor farm girl who robs banks with a wealthy friend to combat an enforcer terrorizing their town. Randy Cordova of the Arizona Republic said the film “sports” Cruz and her co-star Salma Hayek as the “lusty dream team” and that they were the “marketing fantasy” for the film. A writer for 20minutos.es called Cruz and Hayek the “demand curves” of the film. Also in 2006, Cruz received favourable reviews for her performance as Raimunda in Pedro Almodóvar’s Volver. The film was well received by critics and on multiple top ten film lists for 2006. Carina Chocano of The Los Angeles Times wrote, “Cruz, who has remarked that in Hollywood she’s rarely allowed to be anything more than pretty, instills her with an awesome resoluteness and strength of character.” Jan Stuart of Newsday described Cruz as having “never been more radiant and funny.” IGN film critic Todd Gilchrist praised Cruz, saying her “performance is nothing short of revelatory” and that “Here, she finds the best role of her career, and leaps in with complete commitment.” She shared a Best Actress award at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival with five of her co-stars, as well as receiving a Goya Award and European Film Award, and was nominated for the Golden Globe, the Screen Actors Guild Award, the BAFTA Award, and the Academy Award for Best Actress in a leading role. She was the first Spaniard to ever be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress.
In 2007, Cruz appeared in the lead female role in Manolete, a biopic of bullfighter Manuel Laureano Rodríguez Sánchez, playing Antoñita “Lupe” Sino. She also appeared in The Good Night, playing two characters, Anna and Melody. The film received negative reviews and did not perform well at the box office. TV Guide film critic Maitland McDonagh noted that in the film Cruz “expertly mines the contrast between chic, compliant, white-clad Anna and funky, street-smart Melody, who treats [Martin Freeman's character] Gary like the world-class drag he is.” David Edelstein of New York Magazine said “Cruz shows up in the flesh, and she’s wonderfully tart and funny.” In 2008, Cruz appeared in Isabel Coixet’s film Elegy, which was based on the Philip Roth story The Dying Animal, as the lead female role, Consuela Castillo. The film generated mixed to positive reviews, and appeared on multiple film critics’ top ten film lists for 2008. Ray Bennett of the Hollywood Reporter described Cruz’s performance as being “outstanding in an otherwise lame male fantasy [film]” and MSNBC film critic Alonso Duralde praised Cruz and her co-star, Ben Kingsley, writing that they give “extraordinary performances” in the film.
In the photo, a Hispanic female wearing a white sleeveless dress that has beaded designs with a white pearl neckless and white earrings can be seen. The female has medium brown hair with side bangs, the rest of her hair is clipped behind her head and she is waving with her left hand while tilting her head to her right.
Cruz at the 81st Academy Awards
Later that year, she starred in Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona as María Elena, a mentally unstable woman. Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian praised Cruz’s performance in the film, commenting, “Cruz looks as if she has wandered in from a more hefty film entirely; everything she does and says seems to mean more, count for more. This isn’t to say that she gets bigger laughs, or perhaps any laughs, but she certainly walks off with the film.” Kirk Honeycutt of the Hollywood Reporter remarked that the film “belongs” to Cruz and her co-star Bardem. Todd McCarthy of Variety magazine felt that Cruz’s performance was “dynamite” in both of the languages she spoke. A writer for 20minutos.es described Cruz as having planted “relentless growth” in the film. Cruz received a Goya Award and her first Academy Award and BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress. She also received a Golden Globe and SAG nomination. Cruz was the first Spanish actress to ever be awarded an Academy Award and the sixth Hispanic person to ever receive the award.
Cruz’s next film was the kid-friendly animated film, G-Force, which was released to theaters in July 2009. In the film, she voiced a guinea pig spy named Juarez. G-Force was a commercial success, making over $290 million worldwide. Also in 2009, she appeared in the film Broken Embraces as Lena, the lead character’s mistress and assistant who is an aspiring actress. Moira Macdonald of the Seattle Times wrote “Cruz, so lovely she hardly seems real, makes Lena both vulnerable and steely. Lena’s life, it seems, is turning into a movie that she can’t escape, as men and cameras seem to blur together and her dazzling smile becomes little defense.” Claudia Puig of USA Today described Cruz’s performance as Lena as being “superb.” Stephanie Zacharek of Salon.com noted in her review for the film that Cruz “doesn’t coast on her beauty in Broken Embraces, and she has the kind of role that can be difficult to flesh out.” Cruz received nominations from the Satellite Awards and European Film Awards for her performance in Broken Embraces.
Cruz’s final 2009 film was the film version of the musical Nine, playing the character Carla Albanese, the lead character’s mistress. Variety reported that Cruz had originally auditioned for the role of the film within a film’s star, Claudia, which eventually went to Nicole Kidman. Cruz said that she trained for three months for the dance routine in the film. The film generated negative reviews and was a financial failure. Claudia Puig of USA Today commented that while Cruz “does a steamy song and dance,” her “acting is strangely caricatured.” Chris Tookey of the Daily Mail made a similar comment, saying: “I know Penelope Cruz has been nominated for a Golden Globe for her camp vamp act, but to me she is unnervingly over the top [in this film], like Strictly Come Dancing’s Bruno Tonioli in drag.” F. Bernal of Que.es commented, “In terms of its ability to integrate with luck in the cast of a musical, it is clear that Penelope does a good note [in the film].” Cruz’s performance as Carla garnered her nominations for Best Supporting Actress from the Academy Awards, Golden Globes and SAG Awards.
In 2010, Cruz appeared in the film Sex and the City 2, the sequel to the 2008 film, in a cameo role. Cruz will appear in her biggest Hollywood turn to date, in the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film as Angelica, Blackbeard’s daughter and the former love interest of Captain Jack Sparrow. This film has Cruz and director Rob Marshall returning once more for a film. On April 1, 2011 Cruz received the 2,436th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of the El Capitan Theatre. Cruz becomes the first Spanish actress to receive a Star. Her upcoming roles include an untitled Woody Allen Project set in Rome, and she is set to reunite with Italian director Sergio Castellitto in his war tale “Venuto al Mondo” as Gemma, a single mother who brings her teenage son to Sarajevo, where the boy’s father died during the Balkan War. The film is based on an Italian bestseller. The part is a switch for Cruz, who has until now mostly been sliding between Hollywood- and Spain-based movies. “I like that it’s a movie that’s not Spanish or English. [...] I love this part of the job that lets you become someone else with a different nationality.” In an interview with the Italian publication La Repubblica, Cruz commented on playing Gemma, saying, “I feel as an actress Gemma will be playing one of the most important opportunities of my life.” And finally, after being shelfed since 2007 Cruz’s film Manolete (originally shot in 2005, four years before Cruz won her Oscar for Vicky Cristina Barcelona will release on demand via cable, satellite, telco and online in June 7, 2011 under the title, A Madator’s Mistress.
To read more about Penelope Cruz go to wikipedia.org
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