Charlize Theron enjoys a gorgeous wardrobe as Gilda Bessé, the free-loving aristocrat, but her co-star Penélope Cruz, as Gilda's intimate friend Mia, sports a bum leg and a drab uniform helping freedom fighters in the Spanish Civil War.
Cruz's beauty has helped make her a celebrity since she hosted a popular Spanish TV show at age 17. Speaking before Head in the Clouds' premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, Cruz insists she is not self-conscious about her on-screen appearance. In fact, she enjoys the challenge of playing someone offbeat.
"I look for things that I haven't done before in movies," Cruz says, looking every bit the glamorous actress. "I am not afraid to do something different. This woman, Mia, my character, is gay, but I don't even think about it. But I've done things like this character before. I was a pregnant, HIV-positive nun in All About My Mother. It's funny -- when he (director Pedro Almodóvar) read me the script at home, I looked at him like he was a Martian. But then I thought, no, it's Pedro Almodóvar, and he is going to make this beautiful."