During a tribute to her career at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA), Penelope Cruz recalled the Betamax videotape store that opened in her neighborhood, in a suburb of Madrid, when she was a child and that made her discover cinema.
It was there where she rented all the films of Spanish movie director Pedro Almodóvar, she said.
“I watched, and I laughed, I cried, and I learned," she said at a star-studded benefit Tuesday evening at the museum. “I would not be here tonight, being honored by MoMa, if I had not had the privilege of working with brilliant directors who have inspired me, taught me, helped me grow as an artist and as a person. I want to thank them all tonight, and specially my Pedro.”
The recognition comes a decade after the museum paid the same tribute to Almodóvar, who has worked with Cruz in seven films. The latest movie by the director, “Parallel Mothers,” starring Cruz, opens in the United States on December 24. On Monday, it received two Golden Globe nominations.
An exciting moment of the night was when Almodóvar sent a video message to Cruz, congratulating her on the recognition.
He recalled in the video a dialogue with the actress that they had when they promoted “All About My Mother” (1999).
“You told me that when I get old you will take care of me. I’m not that old yet, but I hope you keep your word," he said, provoking laughter in the audience. “When I am an old man, I hope you come and become, in this case, my mother. It would be a reflection of all the mothers that you have been for me throughout these seven films.”
Among those paying tribute to the Spanish actress at the annual film benefit was Anne Hathaway, Diane Kruger and Rebecca Hall. Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin, Spanish singer Rosalía and fashion designer Zac Posen also didn't miss the event.
The benefit featured clips from some of Cruz’s many films: “Broken Embraces” (2009), “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (2008), and “Volver” (2006), among others. Cruz won an Oscar for best supporting actress in Woody Allen’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.”