People ask Woody, “Do you spend a lot of time with your actors?” In front of all of us he says, “No—I try to avoid the cast. They come to me with all these strange questions that I either don’t know how to answer or I don’t want to answer.” Somehow it works.
What’s the key to being funny?
I don’t play comedy as comedy. That would be the biggest trap. I think about the characters and their situations. Then you don’t have to worry where the laugh is going to be. But comedy is harder than drama.
Is it easier to play a death scene or a sex scene?
I don’t like dying. I die in Don’t Move [an Italian film, for which Cruz won the Italian academy award for best actress], and I can’t really look at it because it reminds me of my grandmother when she was very old. But sex scenes are very strange. Absurd, really.
I like the scene in Almodóvar’s Broken Embraces
where you think your husband has died during sex. You go to the
bathroom, freshen up, and come back to bed only to find he’s
I love that scene: It’s hard to invent a new way to shoot a sex scene, but Pedro has done it so many times. During the shooting, Pedro was giving my character thoughts. She’s kind of happy that her husband’s dead, but Pedro kept saying to me: “What are you going to do with the body? Why are you putting on lipstick?” The whole crew was laughing so hard, but a man had just died. That tension between tragedy and hilarity is why Pedro is a genius.
What is your favorite Almodóvar movie?
Probably Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!—that’s why I wanted to become an actress. It’s heartbreaking; it always makes me cry. After I saw it, I saw how my life would go. That movie gave me the dream.