At the press conference for Twice born yesterday Penélope Cruz said that she hadn’t hesitated to accept when Sergio Castellitto’s asked her to star in the film: “The experience I had when I worked with him and (co-scriptwriter) Margaret Mazzantini on Non ti muovere was so delightful that when he offered me this new character I couldn’t say no.”
In the Italian director’s latest film she plays Gemma, a woman who goes back to Sarajevo twenty years after the War in the Balkans. Sergio Castellitto summed up the philosophy
behind his film with a phrase he took from the book that it is based on. “Life is like a
hole placed inside another hole until it fills it up.”
Penélope Cruz revealed that this was the first time she had played a woman at various stages of her life ranging from her twenties to her fifties and that it was also a role that demanded a lot of her in the emotional sphere, while when he was asked what nuances he thought that the actress brought to the character, Castellitto praised Penélope Cruz as a “palette that you can find all the colours on” and added, “In Italy we consider her to be one of our us; the direct heir to Claudia Cardinale, Gina Lollobrigida or Silvana Mangano.”
Both actress and director stressed how important it had been to shoot in Sarajevo itself
as this gave them the opportunity to talk to local people who provided them with their vision of what was “an appalling conflict that many of them are still not sure how it came about”.