Every Film Should Get a Theatrical Release



For Penélope Cruz, nothing can beat the experience of watching a film at the cinema.

During a “BAFTA: A Life in Pictures” conversation in London on Monday night, Cruz reflected on her over three-decade career and how the industry has evolved in that time. But one thing that the actor thinks should never change is films getting a full release in theaters, which has grown increasingly rare with the advent of streamers and the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down cinemas.

“It’s a ritual that I hope the world doesn’t lose because it is real magic,” Cruz said at the event. “The experience of watching a film in a theater can never be the same as watching it in your house with interruptions and a phone or this and that. And then it’s not sacred anymore — that time of you’re here, you turn off the phone and you’re going to be focused on this activity for two hours. That doesn’t happen at home. So I am a big defender of every movie having at least a few weeks of theatrical release because it’s just sad to lose that. It’s sad for new generations not to experience that.”

Cruz was in London to promote Michael Mann’s “Ferrari,” in which she plays Laura Ferrari, the betrayed wife of automotive mogul Enzo Ferrari (Adam Driver). As part of her research for the role, Cruz said she traveled to the Ferraris’ hometown of Modena, Italy and spent time talking to the local people about their impressions of Laura. But, what she found out took her by surprise.

“The people that knew her very well loved her, but people in the streets would say things that I didn’t like, like ‘Oh no, she was just a very difficult woman. She was just crazy,’” Cruz said. “And I would tell them, ‘Do you know that she used to sleep with the tires during some races so that nobody would steal them or break them?’ ‘No, that’s impossible. She has no relation to Ferrari whatsoever.’ ‘And did you know that she was one of the first investors?’ They just wanted to make less of her.”

Cruz continued, “I saw that there was no compassion for her — probably because she was involved in the business and that was not welcome. It was, in those years, very difficult for a woman to have a voice in a company like that.”

However, Cruz doesn’t think that things are much different in the present day, almost 70 years since the events of “Ferrari” took place — even in Hollywood.

“It’s still today the case in so many places around the world. I mean, just look around and you will find women living in the shadow of men,” she said. “I don’t like when, you know, it’s always said in our profession, ‘It’s great how much things have changed’ because it is a lie. Things have not changed that much.”

“Ferrari” premieres in theaters on Dec. 25.


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