It is all well and good having a great script and a great director, but without the actors, no film is ever going to be a success. It is through the actors and actresses that the emotions are conveyed, and they are the most important piece for making a film believable and engaging.
Spain is home to a great set of Spanish actors who have displayed their talents in feature films abroad, especially in North America. Many bring the talents of bilingual abilities during their performances, which speak volumes about the time and effort they put into their roles.
Some Spanish Actors and Actresses...
Penelope Cruz is one of those Spanish actresses that have turned themselves from being a popular national star to being an internationally acclaimed actress. Her career has taken many twists and turns, beginning with dance and ending up with her appearing in a number of famous Spanish and American films alongside some of the most famous actors in the world, including Tom Cruise and Johnny Depp. However most notably, she has appeared in a number of the films by Pedro Almodóvar including Volver in 2006. She has also made headlines for her many celebrity relationships, including her marriage with the famous Spanish actor, Javier Bardem.
Following a strong career of Spanish films, Javier Bardem has also joined the league of Spanish actors that have turned into international actors. Working with Almodóvar and alongside people like Penelope Cruz, Bardem has appeared in a number of great Spanish movies. One of his most famous is of course Mar Adentro for which he won a number of awards. In terms of his English language films, the most famous is No Country for Old Men, for which he won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. He too has become even more famous thanks to his relationship with Penelope Cruz.
Fernando Rey is one of the legends of Spanish cinema. This Spanish actor has appeared in over 200 different films in all manner of genres as well as various languages like Spanish, French and English. His most famous role is without doubt his portrayal of the slightly mad yet legendary Spanish knight, Don Quijote. Some of the films he has appeared in include Viridiana, Tristana and The French Connection 1 & 2.
Despite being a relatively young Spanish actress, Maribel Verdu has already appeared in a large number of films; around 50 altogether since 1984. Beginning her acting career at the tender age of 13, she has been on the rise in Spanish films ever since. She is best known for her roles in the films Pan's Labyrinth directed by Guillermo del Toro, Y tu mama también by Alfonso Cuarón, and Tetro by Francis Ford Coppola (director of the Godfather series). There are sure to be many more international films to come for Verdu with the way her fame is growing.
Antonio Banderas is probably one of the best known Spanish actors abroad, mostly thanks to his work with Almodóvar and his unforgettable portrayal of the legendary figure, Zorro. However his career really took off in the theatre, before he was picked up by Pedro Almodóvar, for whom he worked with on a number of films including Laberinto de pasiones, Matador and Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios. He then made into the English-language film world, despite not speaking much of the language, and has since flourished, appearing alongside some of the world's most famous actors like Tom Cruise and Sylvester Stallone.
Carmen Maura is yet another legendary Spanish actress who gained fame working alongside Pedro Almodóvar. It was thanks to her that Almodóvar got enough money and support to film his first feature length film Pepi, Luci, Bom y otras chicas del montón, which she also starred in. After a fall out with Almodóvar, she worked in a number of other films and television shows, before finally returning to work for her old friend in the award-winning Volver in 2006.
Want to find out more about some of the best Spanish actors today? Just follow the links below and let the roster of Spanish actors and actresses display their best pieces of work!