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Oscars fail: Spanish star in identity mix-up

George Mills · 3 Mar 2014, 17:39

Published: 03 Mar 2014 17:39 GMT+01:00

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In Spanish terms, Penélope Cruz is a cinema heavyweight. 

The actress from Madrid has spent over two decades working with some of the world's best directors, and is one of the few Spaniards to have collected an Oscar — for her role in the 2008 Woody Allen film Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

'Pé', as she is known in Spain, is also one half of Spanish cinema's power couple along with her husband, the fellow actor and Oscar winner Javier Bardem.

But it appears this wasn't enough to prevent the the one-time partner of Tom Cruise being mistaken for one of her acting peers by the Academy on Sunday.

During the ceremony in Los Angeles, Cruz joined forces with screen legend Robert De Niro to present the awards for the Best Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay.

An Instagram picture posted by the Academy even showed the two preparing for the presentation.

SEE ALSO: Everything you need to know about Spain at the Oscars

The only problem was the accompanying text, which confused the Spanish actress with Mexican film star Salma Hayek. "Hayek and De Niro prepping backstage," read the message.

The picture has since been deleted but only adds to what might be a night worth forgetting. Cruz was also included  — perhaps unfairly — among the night's worst dressed by many media outlets for her pink gown.

It hasn't been a brilliant month for Cruz's husband either.

Story continues below…

Javier Bardem recently sparked an international diplomatic row between France and Morocco after he let slip private comments made to him by a French diplomat.

President Hollande then had to intervene after Bardem's comments, calling the Moroccan king to offer "a message of confidence and friendship to Morocco". 

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George Mills (george.mills@thelocal.com)

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