ROME – Spanish actress Penelope Cruz said in an interview published Saturday by Italian daily La Stampa that she plans to produce at least two films a year in her homeland to create jobs amid sky-high unemployment.
“I want to bring jobs to my people ... I’ll use my privileged position. It’s what interests me the most right now. I know it’s a grain of sand in the desert, but it’s a responsibility I think I have,” Cruz said.
“I’ll produce a couple of films a year. A way to give work to hundreds of people. It’s a set idea I have.”
Cruz, winner of a best-supporting actress Oscar for her role as an unstable artist in Woody Allen’s 2008 comedy-drama “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” said she has worked hard but also has had a lot of opportunities in life.
The talents of “an entire generation of highly trained young people” are being wasted, Cruz said, adding that though they have lots to offer there is nothing for them to do but “bang their heads against the wall or go out in the street and protest.”
“The disaster in Spain and the problems in Italy are visible to everyone, but also think about what’s happening in Syria or Africa. It’s unacceptable, painful and sad. Like Robert Redford said, today the world’s not a good place,” Cruz said.
Regarding the global economic slowdown, the actress said the decisions governments have adopted to solve the problem “are wrong-headed and are creating more and more desperation.”
Referring specifically to Spain, she said only that she is in “total disagreement” with the policies of conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s administration.
Spain’s economy has been battered in recent years by the collapse of a massive real-estate bubble in the context of the 2008-2009 global recession. The country also is seeking to bring its budget deficit as a percentage of gross domestic product into line with European Union mandates.
The Rajoy government has opted for a series of austerity measures since taking office last December, arguing that fulfilling the deficit objective is the first step out of the crisis.
Those measures have been harshly criticized by unions and sparked massive street protests.
Cruz, best known for her work with Allen and Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar, most recently finished filming “Venuto al mondo” (Twice Born), an Italian-Spanish co-production directed by Sergio Castellitto.
She told the Italian daily her role of Gemma in that film and the character she played in Almodovar’s “Volver” (To Return) have been the two most challenging of her career.