Director forced to cut Penelope Cruz cameo - because he didn't realise how FAMOUS she was

06 Oct 2014 18:18
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Matej Minac, 53, was directing 'All My Loved Ones', a film about British pilot Nicholas Winton who saved 669 Jewish Czech children from certain death at the hands of the Nazis in 1939.
It was filmed in 1998 in the Czech Republic capital Prague and British actor Rupert Graves acted as Nicholas Winton in the movie.
Mr Minac's assistant, Tomas Obermaier, told him that his girlfriend, who was visiting at the time, wanted a part in the Czech Slovak and Polish production.
But when he met Cruz, he had no idea who she was.
Mr Minac said: "I remember my assistant telling me his girlfriend was coming at 11am that day, and that she wanted to act in the movie.
"I didn't even see her and had no chance to talk to her, although I do recall she appeared at some stage and introduced herself.
"I did need somebody to play a woman who was saying a last goodbye to the children at the train station. We found some clothes and what I thought was a really nice hat and got to work.
"None of us knew who she was, and we didn't have time to look her up. After all it was only a bit part."
Czech actor Tereza Brodska remembers the incident. She said: "She spent two days with us. She was really pretty and very kind, but nobody knew how famous she already was.
"We made one scene with her - she turned to the train and cried.
"I remember some people wondering why there was a Spanish actress in the movie but as it was what the director wanted we just got on with it.
"And the were no objections when she was performing, she really is a good actress."
The decision to cut the scene came from a film editor, who realised just how famous the Spanish actress was.
Mr Minac said: "Film editor Patrik Pass told me the scene with the famous actress would only end up attracting attention in the wrong way and we cut away the scene with Penelope."
He said everyone would have known she was Spanish and it would have distracted from the artistic impact of the film.
However, he admitted that he now regrets agreeing to it, and with hindsight would have left the scene in.
Despite the omission of the Hollywood actress, the film proved to be a success.
Mr Minac added: "The film had its premiere in Karlovy Vary film festival and it really went down well so perhaps it was all for the best."

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