Penélope Cruz

Captain Corelli's Mandolin

Interviewed by Jane Crowther

What attracted you to the character of Pelagia?

When I read the script I was in a plane going from LA to Madrid and I was crying and thinking "I hope they call me to do an audition for this movie!" Then I had a meeting with John Madden and he said "Some characters belong to certain people..." but he didn’t finish the sentence. After I did an audition he called and said "I told you some of the characters belong to certain people and this one belongs to you."

How are you finding all the attention this high-profile role has brought you?

I’ve been working for 11 years in my country so it’s the same thing as what I was going through when I was 17 and did "Jamon, Jamon". But it's got bigger now because I’m working in more places. The thing that really makes me happy is the work - rehearsing and creating a character, the process of making the movies. The other part of it is like having another profession. But the fame is not the reason I decided to become an actress.

Your fame has seen you being linked to Tom Cruise’s marriage break-up.

I’ve been hearing gossip and lies since I began working and I used to get very angry. But I see that I’m not the only one who has to go through this. Everybody who is in the public eye unfortunately has to go through that but I try not to pay too much attention. I use my energy for other things I have to do in my life.

Read our review of "Captain Corelli's Mandolin", an interview with co-stars Nicolas Cage and Christian Bale. Read a profile of director John Madden.

Visit the official UK website.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.