Penelope Cruz: Biutiful distraction
Penelope Cruz would be too much of a distraction if she'd starred opposite husband Javier Bardem in new film Biutiful, director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has said.
Javier stars as a cancer victim who struggles to balance his family life with his shady dealings, but the director of 21 Grams and Babel director struggled to cast his leading lady, Marambra, a manic-depressive, before eventually finding an unknown actress with no film experience just weeks before shooting began.
Alejandro was asked at Biutiful's screening at the BFI London Film Festival if he had considered casting Penelope, who won awards for playing a manic depressive in Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
He said: "I love Penelope (Cruz), I think she's an amazing actress, but it would be distracting for the audience (if I'd cast her)."
Revealing why he cast Javier, Alejandro said: "We both are neurotic perfectionists so we showed that in a good way. It was an intense experience but very grateful artistically."
Biutiful is already nominated for Best Foreign Film at next years Oscars and is hotly tipped for success.
Javier said of the Oscar buzz: "It's great. It's good to be liked - we all like to be liked.
"But you can't take seriously any of those things because that's somebody else's opinion. You have to do your work, and of course if the movie is well accepted, that's better. But sometimes it's not well accepted also and you think it's a good work, so the failure and the goal, you have to see it with the same detachment.
"But, that being said, if it happens I will be very happy of course."