Signed by an agent at age 15, she made her acting debut at 16 on television and her feature film debut the following year in Jamón Jamón (1992) to critical acclaim.Her subsequent roles in the 1990s and 2000s included Open Your Eyes (1997), The Hi-Lo Country (1999), The Girl of Your Dreams (2000) and Woman on Top (2000).[...] There's one shot in particular, where Cruz enters a room in a greenish glow, which is right out of Hitchcock's picture [Vertigo]." Kevin Lally of the Film Journal International commented in his review for the film that "in an ironic casting twist, the Spanish actress Penélope Cruz [...] is much more appealing as Josepha [than in her previous roles]".For her performance in the film, she was nominated for an ALMA Award for Best Actress.The film received mixed reviews Her next film was Blow, adapted from Bruce Porter's 1993 book Blow: How a Small Town Boy Made 0 million with the Medellín Cocaine Cartel and Lost It All.She had a supporting role as Mirtha Jung, the wife of Johnny Depp's character.She was critically acclaimed for her roles in Volver (2006) and Nine (2009), receiving Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for each.She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2008 for playing volatile painter María Elena in Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
I was studying when I was in high school at night, I was in ballet and I was doing castings." and "Thank you." In 1997, Cruz appeared in the Spanish comedy film Love Can Seriously Damage Your Health.She portrays Diana, a fan of the Beatles band member John Lennon; she tries unsuccessfully to meet him.They are part of a Francoist film troupe that travels from Spain during the Spanish Civil War to Nazi Germany for a joint production with UFA.Cruz's performance in the film was praised by film critics, with Jonathan Holloland of Variety magazine writing "if confirmation is still needed that Cruz is an actress first and a pretty face second, then here it is".I looked for an agent and she sent me away three times because I was a little girl but I kept coming back.I'm still with her after all these years." In 1999, Katrina Bayonas, Cruz's agent, commented, "She was absolutely magic [at the audition].Cruz achieved recognition for her lead roles in the 2001 films Vanilla Sky, All the Pretty Horses, Captain Corelli's Mandolin and Blow.She has since appeared in films in a range of genres, including the comedy Waking Up in Reno (2002), the thriller Gothika (2003), the Christmas film Noel (2004), and the action adventure Sahara (2005).In an interview with the Los Angeles Daily News in 1999, Cruz commented that "it was a great part, but... [...] But I have no regrets because I wanted to start working and it changed my life." For her performance, Cruz was nominated for a Spanish Actors Union Newcomer Award and a Goya Award for Best Actress.The same year she appeared in the Academy-Award-winning Belle Epoque as the virginal Luz.