PARIS – Spain’s Penelope Cruz received on Friday the French film academy’s honorary Cesar for lifetime achievement from the hands of director Pedro Almodovar, who has called the actress his muse.
The 43-year-old Madrid native said she wouldn’t ask the reason why she received the award so early in her lifetime and would limit herself to “enjoying” it.
“Never in my craziest dreams would I have imagined being in Paris getting a Cesar,” she said, dedicating the prize to her family, in particular to her mother who was present at the Paris gala.
Earlier, Cruz told reporters on the red carpet that she had been genuinely surprised to learn she would receive the award.
“I never expected it at all. It surprised me a lot that they wanted to give it to me. You know, at really special moments like this I think about the people who have been with me from the beginning, who have always supported me,” the Oscar-winning actress told reporters from the red carpet leading to the Cesar gala.
The Spanish actress, who defied the Parisian cold and rain in a long purple dress with bare shoulders, fondly remembered her parents.
“They didn’t laugh at me when this 12-year-old kid told them she wanted to dedicate herself to acting and there was never anyone in our family even close to the art,” said the actress, one of the last to enter the Salle Pleyel concert hall in Paris.
The star of movies like “Volver” (2006) said there came to mind “many things from her beginnings” in the early 1990s.
The Cesar organization asked participants to wear a white ribbon to join in the wave of protests against sexual harassment in showbiz, and the Spanish actress happily went along with the request.