Penelope Cruz: I love India and I feel a strong connection to it

Published on Jan 24, 2022 03:50 AM IST

Hollywood actor Penelope Cruz talks about her connection with India, and why she wants her family to experience the country as well.

Actor Penelope Cruz is a part of the film The 355.
Actor Penelope Cruz is a part of the film The 355.
ByJuhi Chakraborty

She was 21 when Spanish actor Penelope Cruz visited India for the first time. She says that her love for the country has only grown over the years, which has also resulted in her multiple visits here.

“I love India and feel a strong connection to the place,” she admits, adding, “When I visited the country for the first time, I worked with Mother Teresa, and that trip changed my life.”

Cruz says she now wishes to visit India with her family, husband, actor Javier Bardem, and kids — Luna (8) and Leo (11). “I have been to the country three times and hope to go again someday with my family. It’s such an inspiring and special place,” she adds.

A few years ago, Cruz wanted to work on a project in India, called Passion India, which was about a young flamenco dancer, who sparked a scandal in the early 20th century by marrying a maharaja.

Sharing an update on the project, she tells us, “That was quite some time ago. Some people involved in their family didn’t want the film to be made, and we wanted to be respectful of that. Hence, the movie never got made.”

But, as a producer, the 47-year-old continues to develop projects. And now, she wishes to focus more on work that’s behind the scenes. Cruz, who has backed films such as Ma Ma (2015) and On The Fringe, says, “I am trying to move more towards that direction. But [the idea is] not [to make] four or five movies a year, that takes a lot of effort. I try to do (make films) once in a while. I am also directing a documentary that will take at least two years; it’s a dream [project] of mine.”

But she goes on to clarify that she is not leaving her first love, acting. She wants to continue to have a balance between all kinds of films — from her frequent Pedro Almodóvar (Spanish director) school of movies to big-action projects like The 355. “Both are different experiences. With Pedro, I have had a long relationship — we have done seven movies together. From doing small independent films to then doing something bigger, where you shoot for many months with a huge crew, like The 355 — I feel grateful,” she ends.

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