In 2009, Penelope won an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role playing Maria Elena on Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
She was so hyperactive and attention-seeking as a child that her parents enrolled her in ballet classes at age 4.
She's twice been sawed in half by a magician. The first time was at the end of an interview on a Mexican talk show, when a local magician sawed her in half in an illusion called Clearly Impossible. The second time was when David Copperfield sawed her in half using an antique Buzz Saw illusion that used to belong to Orson Welles, and that Welles had used to saw in half Rita Hayworth, Marlene Dietrich and Marilyn Monroe.
Penélope has a the number 883 tattooed above her right ankle.
Penélope's favorite director is Baz Luhrmann.
Penélope aspired to be a dancer and spent nine years training in classical ballet at the Conservatorio Nacional and another three years with a private trainer before switching to acting.
Penélope has worked on three films with director Pedro Almodovar: All About My Mother, Live Flesh and Volver.
Penélope acted in various commercials for Spanish TV in her early years. In more recent years she has appeared in commercials for the Motorola Mobile phone company.
Penélope is afraid of mice and worms, and is against any type of hunting.
When she was a little girl. Penélope wanted to become a teacher.
Penélope's appearances on various lists include:
2008 - #82 position 'Hot 100 Women 2008'
2005 - #51 position '100 Sexiest Women in the World'
2002 - #23 position '102 Sexiest Women in the World'
Australian Empire Magazine
2002 - #7 position 'Sexiest Female Movie Star'
People en Espanol
2008 - #1 position 'Best-Dressed Woman'.
Penélope had 4 years of dance performance with Cristina Rota and also completed a Jazz Dance course with Raúl Caballero.
Penélope is nicknamed Madonna of Madrid Pen.
Penélope's height is 5' 5½" (1.66 m).
Penélope was paid $2,000,000 for Vanilla Sky (2001).
Penélope enjoys soccer, with her favorite team being Real Madrid.
Penélope's aunt was a flamenco dancer.
Penélope's food tastes: - Apples, toast and orange juice for breakfast; - food with spices in it; - allergic to strawberries, - salads without tomatoes.
Penélope loves dogs.
In 2003, Penélope sued an Australian women's magazine for substantial damages over an article regarding her relationship with Tom Cruise.
After spending a week volunteering at Mother Teresa's children's sanctuary in Calcutta, Penélope donated her entire Hi-Lo Country salary.
In 2002, Penélope was nominated for Breakthrough Female Performance at the MTV Movie Awards for her role in Blow.
Penélope has stated she enjoys the following things:
- watching sunsets;
- doing card tricks;
- collecting ancient plates;
- watching soap operas;
- collecting ancient plates;
- going to the gym;
- watching American comedy shows
Penélope speaks four languages: Spanish, Italian, French and English.
Penélope Cruz: (after winning the best supporting actress Oscar she won for her role in "Vicky Cristina Barcelona") When they gave it to me I could not stop crying for 20 minutes. I could not look at it - is it for real, or one of those things my friends gave me or something? This morning I woke up with the same feeling. But I had put the Oscar in my bed, on the other pillow, I looked - and it was there!
Penélope Cruz: I have a little bit of an addiction to work. So I'm always hiding in the bathroom with my Blackberry to work when I'm on holiday.
Penélope Cruz: (defending herself after her and Salma Hayek posed together for a provocative shot showing Penélope grabbing Salma's bum) You know what they've been saying because of that picture? We are like sisters and we have some sense of humor... We did that in front of 100 photographers and the story now is that apparently we are lovers. I'm sorry to say, that is not the case!
Penélope Cruz: I want to be remembered as somebody that tried to respect her integrity as an artist and as a person. And I don't want to be in any box. I don't want to be one thing.
Penélope Cruz: (her own mother provided inspiration for her role as Raimunda in "Volver") My mum came to mind many times when I was preparing the character, her strength. She worked six days a week and still did everything for us, like lunch, dinner and of course the clothing. She was like a superwoman.
Penélope Cruz: (on her role in "Volver") I can play a real woman finally. It was like a dream come true. It is a very difficult character, very demanding and that is what I like. I want things that are different from myself so I can act. The six months that I spent working on this movie I felt like everything stopped, I was just doing this. It was so intense, I felt so alive. It is not like I don't feel like that now, it is just that the creative process was like a good drug.
Penélope Cruz: There's so much more I want to do. I refuse to get to 50 and wait at home for the phone to ring. In Spain, actresses work until they are old. That's my plan.
Penélope Cruz: The most difficult thing in the world is to start a career known only for your looks, and then to try to become a serious actress. No one will take you seriously once you are known as the pretty woman.