I love the Spanish actress Chus Lampreave, who appears in many of Pedro Almodovar's movies.
The only movie I've seen with her, by another director, is El Verdugo by Berlanga, and she is in there 2 minutes.
Pedro Almodovar gives her a well-deserved hommage on his blog. When I went to the Almodovar Q&A at the BFI for the release of volver, I wanted to ask him about Chus, but I wasn't picked. His recent post asnwers my question!
"Chus Lampreave is something more than a regular in my films. She’s an adorable person who still has a child’s innocence and capacity for surprise, even though her life hasn’t exactly been a bed of roses. She is the closest thing to the idea of an angel. A person who is naturally good. When someone like her crosses your path the best thing is to hold on to her and not let her get away for a long time. I always have a meeting pending with her, to talk, to feel her marvellous optimism and her enthusiasm at the mere fact of seeing each other and telling each other things (...)
When I offered her the role of Mother Street Rat in “Dark Habits”, her only objection was that she thought it too long, too important, and she should only do little, unimportant roles. Exactly the opposite of what any actress would tell you. Chus belongs to an atypical, wonderful race of actors who gesticulate very little. Or who don’t gesticulate at all, but their faces only reflect truth. I’m talking about geniuses like Buster Keaton, Totò, Bill Murray, Pepe Isbert, Robert Mitchum… Fortunately I managed to persuade her to play the role of the secret writer-nun in “Dark Habits”. Since then she is one of the most important emotional references in my life."
One of her best bits is obviously in The Flower of my secret. Almodovar talks about how they rehearsed it on his blog. Read it!