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Penelope Cruz enjoys kissing Meryl Streep

Penelope Cruz spoke with Marion Cotillard for Interview Magazine about why she became an actress, what her obsession with Pedro Almodóvar is and how she based her role in Nine on The Pink Panther.

COTILLARD: How do you prepare? I know that for Nine, you watched a lot of Italian movies.

CRUZ: Yes, I watched a lot of Italian movies and also movies with Italian actors working in English, because I had to do an Italian accent. I’ve played an Italian before, but in that film I was speaking Italian, so this was the first time doing English with an Italian accent. I also watched a lot of musicals. And then for my character, Carla, one of my little secrets is that she made me think about the Pink Panther—for some reason, that’s the image I was getting.

COTILLARD: That was your inspiration for Carla?

CRUZ: It was one of them. Because I think she’s a little bit goofy—not that she tries to be funny, but something is a little bit off about her. And at the same time, I wanted to have an image for the musical number. The musical number had to be sexy, and thinking about the Pink Panther would help me get into the mood. But I never told that to anybody! When I was climbing the ropes to the ceiling, all I could think about was the Pink Panther.

She also says she always starts kissing Meryl Streep when she sees her at awards ceremonies. Which is a little awkward. For me. Because my penis is really confused right now.

COTILLARD: I have a question that might be four questions in one. What inspires you—as an actress and as a woman? Because I guess those are sometimes different inspirations.

CRUZ: Yes, yes. As an actress, I really love people like Anna Magnani and Debra Winger. I also think there is nobody better than Meryl Streep. I watch her movies over and over again—I saw Silkwood [1983] again a couple of weeks ago, and it made me just want to kiss her feet. We only know each other from seeing each other at awards ceremonies or those kinds of events, but whenever I see her, I always go up to her and start kissing her. I don’t even say anything—I just kiss her. She must think I’m some crazy person. [both laugh] And then, from the women in my life, I have to say that I have a very special relationship with my mother. She had me when she was 21,
so she was very young. I’ve always been able to talk to her about everything. Since I was a little girl, nothing was taboo in my house. She’s been the person who I’ve looked to for inspiration for many of the characters that Pedro writes because she’s really a force of nature. She’s very strong.

Yes, yes. It’s all coming together. Step 1: Dress up as Meryl Streep. Step 2: Show up at an awards ceremony that Penelope Cruz is attending. Step 3: Attempt to hide my erection while Penelope Cruz makes out with me. It’s so easy!

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