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Penelope Cruz reveals she became possessive over the baby and prop dolls on Parallel Mothers set

Parallel Mothers is her seventh film with Pedro Almodóvar, for which she won the International Star Award at the Palm Springs International Film Awards.   

And in scenes to set to air on Friday night’s Graham Norton, Penelope Cruz, 47, reveals she became possessive over the baby and prop dolls used on the set of the movie, admitting: ‘I had a crazy reaction!’. 

Elsewhere during the chat show, the film’s director Pedro Almodóvar, 72, brands the Spanish actress ‘the perfect type of mother.’

Crazy reaction: In scenes to set to air on Friday’s Graham Norton, Penelope Cruz, 47, reveals she became possessive over the baby and prop dolls used on the set of Parallel Mothers

Talking about the birth scenes in the film, Penélope says: ‘Pedro is so great because he knows so much about almost everything but when there is something he is not an expert in, he is not afraid to ask questions.

‘He gave me and the other women a lot of freedom and trust. He pointed the camera at me and just said, “Have a baby.”

Revealing her great love for the baby on set, she says: ‘We were all trying to take care of her and compete for her affection. I am sure she was really confused.

‘I also had a crazy reaction when anyone tried to take the real baby or the prop doll away from me. I think it is a good sign that after four months of rehearsal and three months of shooting that things start to happen in your head.’

Gushing: Elsewhere during the chat show, the film's director Pedro Almodóvar, 72, brands the Spanish actress 'the perfect type of mother'

Gushing: Elsewhere during the chat show, the film’s director Pedro Almodóvar, 72, brands the Spanish actress ‘the perfect type of mother’

Oh my! 'Before Penelope the type of housewife in Spanish cinema was short and fat – not attractive at all. Penelope is like an Italian housewife, like Sophia Loren' says Pedro

Oh my! ‘Before Penelope the type of housewife in Spanish cinema was short and fat – not attractive at all. Penelope is like an Italian housewife, like Sophia Loren’ says Pedro

Pedro, talking about working together seven times, says of Penelope: ‘For me she is the perfect type of mother.

‘Before Penelope the type of housewife in Spanish cinema was short and fat – not attractive at all. Penelope is like an Italian housewife, like Sophia Loren. Since Penelope all housewives in Spanish films are now very attractive!’

Talking more about the film, Pedro says: ‘I wrote the first draft in 2009 but I left I because I wasn’t completely happy with it. I took advantage of being alone during the pandemic to concentrate and re-write it. To write was the only way to escape the awful situation.’

Asked whether his mother ever saw his work, he says: ‘She was happy and very proud that her boy was successful, but she never saw my films because she had the intuition that I was a little dirty. In the 80s and 90s I was actually a very dirty storyteller!’ 

Star guests: On Friday's show, Graham Norton also welcomes X-Men star James McAvoy

Star guests: On Friday’s show, Graham Norton also welcomes X-Men star James McAvoy

No way! James, talking about the challenge of making the improvised thriller My Son, says: 'The entire film for me was improvised!'

No way! James, talking about the challenge of making the improvised thriller My Son, says: ‘The entire film for me was improvised!’

Getting stuck in: 'The rest of the cast and crew had a script and had all been rehearsing with each other... I had to learn what was happening next as I went along – it was crazy'

Getting stuck in: ‘The rest of the cast and crew had a script and had all been rehearsing with each other… I had to learn what was happening next as I went along – it was crazy’

On Friday’s show, Graham Norton also welcomes X-Men star James McAvoy, rising star Nicôle Lecky, and singer songwriter Ella Henderson. 

James, talking about the challenge of making the improvised thriller My Son, says: ‘The entire film for me was improvised – the rest of the cast and crew had a script and had all been rehearsing with each other and another actor playing me for weeks. I had to learn what was happening next as I went along – it was crazy.’

Revealing one of his improvised scenes didn’t make the cut, he explains: ‘The French director designed the whole thing to preserve the first take so whatever I did was as real, natural and truthful as possible.

‘Usually, we captured the first thing I did and moved on, but this one time a car came out of nowhere and I was scared so I decided I should hide.

‘I climbed up a tree – and I went high. I felt really proud of myself, but when I got down the director said: “I need you to do it a different way, because how do you say in English? It is just a bit f**king stupid!”.’

Rising star: On Friday's show, Graham Norton also welcomes rising star Nicôle Lecky

Multi-talented: She talks about writing and staring in the new BBC Three drama series Mood

Rising star: On Friday’s show, Graham Norton also welcomes rising star Nicôle Lecky, who talks about writing and staring in the new BBC Three drama series Mood

Heart and humour: Nicôle describes Mood as 'A high octane ride,' and says: 'It has a lot of heart and a lot of humour'

Heart and humour: Nicôle describes Mood as ‘A high octane ride,’ and says: ‘It has a lot of heart and a lot of humour’

Nicôle, talking about writing and staring in the new BBC Three drama series Mood, which she describes as ‘A high octane ride,’ says: ‘It has a lot of heart and a lot of humour.

‘I saw a shocking website so did a lot of research and talked to loads of women. I felt there wasn’t anything on television like a modern-day tale of how women with ambitions to be an actress or a singer were getting into sex work.’

Asked about the fabulous musical numbers, she gushes: ‘We had so much fun, and I would turn up on set and think, ‘How the hell have I pulled this off? How have I convinced the BBC to do this?’

Musical guest: Ella Henderson performs Brave live in the studio

Musical guest: Ella Henderson performs Brave live in the studio

Ella Henderson performs Brave live in the studio before joining Graham for a chat, where she talks about the success of her first album in 2014.

Asked if there was pressure to produce another, Ella admits: ‘I was 18 and had amazing success and an amazing ride with it, but when I came back from all of that I realised I had nothing relatable to write about, so I just wanted to live a bit, I just didn’t feel normal.

‘I needed the time away to grow – the transition from teenager to young woman is crazy enough out of the limelight so I didn’t want to do it in it.

‘I did a lot of writing in that time, but I didn’t want to put the pressure on myself – I was like: “I’ll know when I am ready to step forward again.” You have to be mentally prepared for this just as much as musically.’ 

The Graham Norton Show, Friday 28th January BBC One 10.35pm and available on BBC iPlayer. 

Career chat: Joining Graham for a chat, Ella talks about the success of her first album in 2014 and the pressure to produce another

Career chat: Joining Graham for a chat, Ella talks about the success of her first album in 2014 and the pressure to produce another


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