FLORENCE — Dimitri Chamblas, Caroline De Maigret and longtime Chanel ambassador Penélope Cruz were asked by Chanel to speak at the masterclass staged in Florence before the Métiers d’Art show on Tuesday, and Cruz did not hold back — recounting how important it is to research film characters and what they would wear — down to their shoes, and how those accessories affect body language and movement.
“There are so many layers — for example with Pedro Almodovar, we would sit down, read and rehearse for three or four months, finding relations to the character or a story,” said Cruz, beautifully pulling off a blue tweed suit with short shorts.
For the 2009 Almodovar film “Broken Embraces,” “it made sense” for Lena, portrayed by Cruz, to wear Chanel, and the actress said she felt “very lucky” to have access to the Chanel archives. “That was a dream project to be able to be with Pedro and go through the archives, but because it was so right for Lena. It is never about things looking good, but finding pieces that will give truth and credibility to that character,” she underscored.
“Everything has to be chosen months earlier. Pedro will choose everything, from the fabric curtain to any material, but he will be very open to listen to what we feel in the spaces and atmosphere, so there will never be any surprise.”
For the film “Don’t Move,” based on a book by Margaret Mazzantini, one of her favorites, Cruz said she shopped with the author looking for the right clothes.
Cruz expressed her concerns about technology, which “can be your best friend or your worst enemy,” and how it can harm the younger generations. “I am truly worried about the way we are using technology,” and speaking of her own parenting guidelines on the subject, she said she was “ strict and not feeling guilty about that.”
Asked about her ideas on the metaverse, she said, “I have a lot of resistance going that way and I don’t need to have the conversation. I feel like going in the opposite direction. If It were for me, I would have stayed in the ‘90s — forever,” she said to a round of laughter.
“It’s tougher for the younger generations, we were able to grow up with permission to get bored,” she said.
Speaking with WWD ahead of the show, Cruz said that two of her films will be out in a few months, “L’immensità” filmed in Rome, and “En los margenes” by Juan Diego Botto, which she also produced. “I just saw it last week and I am in love. It’s wonderful and Juan Diego is a really special author, he created something very magical and I am really proud of this film,” she said.
While she tries “to do a film every couple of years,” since they take a long time to complete and she wants to be around for her children, she does feel like challenging herself, seeking “more difficult and more exciting” roles that are “interesting and different.” And, in addition to her talent and beauty, she brings to the table her ability to film movies in four different languages — Spanish, French, Italian and English.
Next to Cruz at the show, Sofia Coppola said that, surprisingly, this was her first time in Florence. “I’ve only ever driven through, and it was really nice to spend the day, I got to go to the Uffizi and walk around, it was really nice,” she said.
This time, the director did not have the opportunity to stop in Basilicata, where her father Francis Ford Coppola owns the beautiful Palazzo Margherita. “I would love to go, but I have to go back to New York,” she said, busy with writing a screen play. “But it’s still early stages, it’s not together yet,” she politely demurred, when asked for details.