FLORENCE — Dimitri Chamblas, Caroline De Maigret and longtime Chanel ambassador Penélope Cruz were asked by Chanel to speak at the masterclass in Florence ahead of Tuesday’s Métiers d’Art show, and Cruz didn’t hold back – she shared how important it was is to explore movie characters and what they would wear – right down to their shoes and how those accessories influence body language and movement.
“There’s so many layers — like with Pedro Almodovar, for example, we sat and read and rehearsed for three or four months to find connections to the character or a story,” Cruz said, beautifully pulling off a blue tweed suit with short shorts .
For the 2009 Almodovar film Broken Embraces, it “made sense” that Lena, played by Cruz, wore Chanel, and the actress said she felt “very lucky” to have access to the Chanel archives . “It was a dream project, being able to be with Pedro and going through the archives, but because it was so right for Lena. It’s never about making things look good, it’s about finding parts that bring truth and believability to this character.”
“Everything has to be selected months in advance. Pedro will choose everything from the fabric curtain to any material, but he will be very open to listening to what we feel about the spaces and the atmosphere, so there will never be any surprises.”
For the film Don’t Move, which is based on a book by Margaret Mazzantini, one of her favorite books, Cruz said she researched the right clothes with the author.
Cruz voiced her concerns about technology, which “can be your best friend or your worst enemy,” and how it can harm younger generations. “I’m really worried about how we’re using technology,” and speaking about her own parenting guidelines on the subject, she said she’s “strict and I don’t feel guilty about it.”
When asked about her ideas for the metaverse, she said, “I have a lot of resistance going in that direction, and I don’t need the conversation. I feel like going in the opposite direction. If it was up to me, I would have stayed in the ’90s — forever,” she said, laughing.
“It’s harder for the younger generations, we’ve been able to grow up with permission to be bored,” she said.
Speaking to WWD ahead of the show, Cruz said two of her films will be out in a few months, L’immensità, shot in Rome, and En los margenes by Juan Diego Botto, which she also produced. “I just saw it last week and I’m in love. It’s wonderful and Juan Diego is a very special writer, he created something very magical and I’m really proud of this film,” she said.
While she tries to “do a movie every few years” since they take a long time to finish and she wants to be there for her kids, she feels like challenging herself and seeking “more difficult and more exciting” roles “Interesting and different.” And adding to her talent and beauty, she brings to the table her ability to direct films in four different languages - Spanish, French, Italian and English.
Alongside Cruz at the show, Sofia Coppola said that surprisingly this is her first time in Florence. “I used to just drive through and it was really nice to spend the day, I got to go to the Uffizi Gallery and walk around, it was really nice,” she said.
This time, the director didn’t have the opportunity to stop in Basilicata, where her father, Francis Ford Coppola, owns the beautiful Palazzo Margherita. “I’d like to go, but I have to go back to New York,” she said while busy writing a screenplay. “But it’s just beginning, it’s not together yet,” she countered politely when asked for details.