The Grevin Wax Museum decided to include the actress in its list of stars to "pay tribute to this essential actress who has asserted herself on the world level as well as on the Spanish one", the museum's communications director, Veronique Berecz, told EFE.
Finishing the sculpture has taken six months, during which sculptor Eric de Saint Chaffray, lacking the real model to work from, has had to create the wax image by "improvising and imagining" her look from images taken from the Internet and clips of her films.
The work has been "arduous" and the pressure "constant", since the Spanish film icon "is part of a group of superstars, beautiful women with great charm, and those attributes had to be given expression in the (wax) figure", said Chaffray.
The result is a spectacularly lifelike image of Penelope Cruz - with her long, dark hair gathered into a bun and wearing an elegant evening gown made of lace, velvet and blue gemstones - who seems to be looking at the camera out of the corner of her eye with an enigmatic half-smile.
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