Oscars fail: Spanish star in identity mix-up

The 2014 Oscars ceremony could be one to forget for Spanish actress Penélope Cruz after it emerged the US Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Scientists doesn't actually know who she is.

Oscars fail: Spanish star in identity mix-up
The Academy which hands out the Oscars confused Selma Hayek (left) with Penelope Cruz right. Photo: YouTube/Pascal le Segretain/Getty Images North America/AFP

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.

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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Penelope Cruz: ‘I have my personal war with technology’

Hollywood star Penelope Cruz warned Sunday that technology was driving high anxiety that would one day make "all our brains explode".

Penelope Cruz: 'I have my personal war with technology'
Penelope Cruz on the red carpet at the screening of the film "Wasp Network" in Venice. Photo: AFP

Hollywood star Penelope Cruz warned Sunday that technology was driving high anxiety that would one day make “all our brains explode”.   

The Spanish mother-of-two said she was worried about how children's mental health and development were being affected by the ubiquity of tech.   

“I have my personal war with it,” she told reporters at the Venice film festival.

“I wish we could have lived in the 1990s for a little longer. For mental health issues that would have helped a lot, because I think things are going at a speed that we are unprepared for,” said the actress.   

Cruz, 45, who is starring in “Wasp Network”, a thriller about five Cuban undercover agents who became heroes for infiltrating radical exile networks in Florida, said tech was coming to utterly dominate children's lives, hogging their time and imaginations.   

“This might seem like an exaggeration to other people, but I am convinced that we were raised with a different relationships with technology,” she said.   

“Right now children and teenagers are in contact so much with electronics and it takes the time away from children to learn to play, to have conversations, to be at a table having dinner talking to their family, or to be bored — which is something important we all should learn as children.”   

Cruz, who has an eight-year-old son and six-year-old daughter with fellow Spanish star Javier Bardem, said our lives were being swallowed up by it.   

Tech's daily dominance was “not only affecting children, but all of us…. It is something that is creating a lot of general anxiety and I wonder if this continues all of our brains are just going to explode,” said the actress, who made her name in “Jamon, Jamon” when she was only 15.   

Cruz said that she hoped that rising fears about what we are doing to the planet would chime with a harder look at what tech was doing to us.   

“I hope that there will be a movement for people to live in a different way, that will value a different pace, which leads us to the other big issue, what happens to the environment,” she added.

By AFP's Fiachra Gibbons 

READ ALSO: There are still 16,000 public telephones in Spain