Paz Vega was once described as the next Penelope Cruz. The confident Spanish actress, however, declined this label and stated that she was not the next anything but rather herself. Since that bold assertion, Vega has gone on to become a household name in Hollywood as well as Europe. She has also scooped up several awards while establishing herself as a sex symbol and international style icon.
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Paz Vega
1. She was a competitive swimmer during her childhood days.
Paz Vega was born on the 2nd of January 1976 in Seville, Andalucía Province, Spain. She was a competitive swimmer as a child. She also loved watching old black and white movies, and grew up admiring the likes of Cary Grant and Lauren Bacall. Vega eventually decided to become an actress after seeing the play, La Casa de Bernarda Alba by Federico Garcia, at the age of 16.
2. Her father is a bullfighter
The actress hails from a tight-knit family of four. Her parents’ names are not available. It is however known that her father is a bullfighter while her mother is a homemaker. During his heydays, Vega’s dad was the main bullfighter or matador who faced the bull. Nowadays, he works alongside the matador and is responsible for plunging the sword into the bull.
3. Her sister is a flamenco dancer
Vega has just one sibling, a younger sister named Sara. Sara is a talented singer, with a beautiful voice, and already has some full-length albums to her name. The multi-talented Sara is also a flamenco dancer. The flamenco dance is a highly-expressive solo Spanish dance characterized by intricate hand and body movements.
4. Paz Vega initially studied to be a Journalist
Vega completed the equivalent of a high school education at the age of 16. She thereafter enrolled in a local college to study journalism. The actress spent two years at the institution before realizing that her heart wasn’t really in it. She, therefore, dropped out and joined an acting school in order to hone her skills.
5. She once worked as a bartender in Madrid
On completing her acting classes, Vega moved to the Spanish capital of Madrid in search of acting opportunities. She took a job in a bar whilst attending any audition she heard about. All of her hard work paid off in the year 1997 when she landed a part in the Spanish TV series, Menudo Es Mi Padre. Vega went on to feature in a handful of other Spanish movies and TV series until her breakthrough role on the Spanish TV series, 7 Vidas. 7 Vidas is basically Spain’s version of the popular Hollywood sitcom, Friends.
6. Paz Vega is the first actress to receive two Goya Awards nomination for two different roles in the same year.
Vega achieved this historic feat in 2002 when she was nominated for best actress, as well as best new actress, at the Goya Awards which is Spain’s equivalent of The Oscars. The Seville native eventually went on to win the award for best new actress. This was for her starring role as Lucia in the highly-acclaimed 2001 film, Sex and Lucia.
7. She has been named the worst actress at The Yoga Awards.
The Yoga Awards is similar to The Razzies and has been awarded to the worst Spanish and foreign cinema films since 1990. Vega received the award for worst actress in 2004 and 2015. This was for her performance in the 2003 Spanish drama film, Carmen, and the 2014 internationally produced biopic, Grace of Monaco, respectively.
8. She first met her husband while vacationing on a Spanish island
The actress is happily married to a Venezuelan man named Orson Salazar. The couple started dating in 2000 and tied the knot in 2002. They now have three kids together. They are sons, Orson Jr. and Lenon, and a daughter named Ava.
9. Her real name is not Paz Vega
The actress was born as Paz Campos Trigo. She later settled on Paz Vega as her stage name. This reportedly stands for peace meadow and is a combination of her first name as well as her grandmother’s surname.
10. She is one of Seville’s most illustrious citizens
Vega is one of the most prominent personalities that Seville, and indeed the Province of Andalucía, has produced. She is a great ambassador for both places and has received numerous accolades as a result. They include the medal of Andalucía and the prestigious Seville gold medal.
Why Has She Become So Famous?
Paz Vega first achieved international success as a result of her starring role in the highly-acclaimed 2001 film, Sex and Lucia. Sex and Lucia revolved around a free-spirited young lady who finds personal liberation through a torrid affair after the loss of her boyfriend and was directed by a renowned Spanish filmmaker, Pedro Almodovar. Vega then found fame in Hollywood thanks to the 2004 American rom-com/drama, Spanglish. Spanglish revolved around a middle-class family whose lives are forever changed by their fiery housekeeper, Flor, and her intelligent daughter. The movie featured A-listers such as Adam Sandler, and Vega played the role of Flor. Since Spanglish, Paz Vega has gone on to establish herself as an international style icon and sex symbol. She has also served as the face of L’Oreal and made it to number 85 on Maxim’s hot 100 list of 2008.