Updated 08:48 AM EST, Fri, Jan 21, 2022

Penelope Cruz Returns to Spanish Cinema With 'Ma Ma'! Release Date, Cast & What to Expect

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Penelope Cruz marks her return to the Spanish big screen after a 6-year absence with the drama "Ma Ma."

The film headlines Cruz as Magda, an unemployed teacher who gets diagnosed with breast cancer, Fox News Latino reported. According to the actress, the movie's protagonist is "an example of struggle, and a life lesson on how to deal with a tragedy."

"I read the full script of 'Ma Ma' in one night, and I fell in love with the story," Cruz recounted, as quoted by Fox News Latino. "The topics covered are very difficult, but it is not a depressing film. When the film ends, it makes you want to hug your family and tell them how much you love them. I feel happy because the movie delivers this message."

"Ma Ma," which is directed by Julio Medem, premieres on Friday, Sept. 11 in Spain. Also starring are Luis Tosar, Asier Etxeandia, Alex Brendemuhl, and Silvia Abascal, the news outlet listed.

In an interview with radio Cadena Ser on Wednesday to promote the film, Cruz, 41, described her Magda role as "one of the most wonderful characters" that she was offered to portray, Business Insider reported. She admitted that at first, playing the character "frightened" her, but she eventually "fell in love with the story of this woman, who is like a goddess, a sage," the news outlet added.

Despite her cancer diagnosis, Magda, who has a young son, chose to persevere through her disease with optimism and guts.

"It was very important to me to take risks and at no time did I worry if I looked beautiful, was ugly or very ugly," the Spanish movie star said, as quoted by Business Insider. "It is a tribute to all women who face this disease."

Cruz became internationally recognized in 2001 for her roles in Hollywood films "Vanilla Sky" and "Blow," the news outlet noted. She won an Academy Award in the best supporting actress category for her work in Woody Allen's 2008 comedy "Vicky Cristina Barcelona."

The brunette beauty's last Spanish movie was Pedro Almodovar's "Broken Embraces" in 2009, Business Insider wrote. She also had a brief part in the director's 2013 flick "I Am So Excited" alongside Antonio Banderas.

As for her upcoming films, Cruz stars in the sequel "Zoolander 2" along with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson. The actress is also set to headline a Pablo Escobar biopic together with her husband, Javier Bardem. The project, which is based on Virginia Vallejo's 2008 best-selling memoir "Loving Pablo, Hating Escobar," will mark the seventh film collaboration of Cruz and Bardem, according to a separate report from Fox News Latino.

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