Backstage at the Oscars: My First Time
RT's Jen Yamato gives her first-hand account of what it was like to cover the Academy Awards.
Spanish actress Penelope Cruz kicked off the night with one of the first major awards -- Best Supporting Actress, for her fiery performance in Vicky Cristina Barcelona --- which marked her first Oscar win. (I personally think she was robbed in 2006 in the Best Actress race, which she lost to Helen Mirren.) After threatening to faint onstage in her acceptance speech, she made her way to the press room, where she stood serenely, cradling her Academy Award in the crook of one arm as if it were a bouquet of roses and she'd just been crowned Miss Universe.
Cruz explained that while filming Vicky Cristina Barcelona she was quite insecure in her performance, and only learned that the film was a comedy at its Cannes premiere.
"When you're working with Woody Allen you know that you can trust the person that you're working with and if he doesn't like something he will tell you," she explained. "If he likes it, he will tell you. He's not a man of too many words, but he's honest and that's what counts for me. We just trusted him. We did the whole movie in four weeks -- four and a half weeks, so I had no idea what it was to be.
With the Oscars this year and last going largely to foreign winners (including Cruz's real-life boyfriend and Vicky Cristina Barcelona co-star, Javier Bardem), is Hollywood opening itself up to honor international filmmakers? Cruz thought so.
"Could you work in America if you have an accent? Yes, you can. And that has been changing in the last 10 or 15 years. It was much harder before, but movies represent life, movies represent what happens in the streets. Then we are all in this together."
After doing her duty, Cruz left the room to return to her seat and watch the Oscars, as she'd said she'd done as a child growing up in the Spanish town of Alcobendas.
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