Fake bum important to Volver? Butt of course, says Almodovar
Some actors have trouble parting with a character after a movie shoot ends, but for Penelope Cruz in Volver, it was a more unusualattachment — the prosthetic buttocks she wore in the film.
"At the end of the shoot, I was blocked. I could not leave the set. I didn't want to take my false ass off," Cruz told reporters at a news conference Friday, just hours before Pedro Almodovar's film Volver had its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Cruz said she had "an emotional attachment" to the character, a mother of a teen whose own deceased mother returns as a spirit, and described herself as "in a bubble."
"I was a disaster after the film. I was a disaster for two months. I was unbearable," she said.
Cruz's physical attributes were important to the characterization, said Almodovar, who sat next to Cruz at the conference and at one pointoffered a detailed critique ofhis comely star's body — small face, generous bosom but "too slender" behind.
He said he wanted her to wear the prosthetic backside so she would resemble a film heroine from 1950s Italian cinema, like an early Sophia Loren.
"The ass is very important. I wanted a fake bottom like Dustin Hoffman had in Tootsie," said the Oscar-winning Spanish director.
"I saw a picture and it was so well designed, I said 'This is what I want for her,'" Almodovar said, adding through an interpreter that the fake bottom helped Cruz look more tired, "really close to the ground and made her look very exhausted."
"These are important decisions to make, because once you have the physical part, you can work on the spiritual part," he said.
In May, Cruz, Carmen Maura and the other actresses in Volver were recognized for their efforts in the female-centred film and shared the best actress prize from the Cannes Film Festival jury.
Volver is set to hit North American theatres this fall.