Cruz has modelled for Mango, Ralph Lauren and L'Oréal, and along with her younger sister Mónica Cruz has designed clothing for Mango.Cruz has volunteered in Uganda and India, where she spent one week working with Mother Teresa; she donated her salary from The Hi-Lo Country to help fund the late nun's mission.In the period drama The Girl of Your Dreams (La niña de tus ojos), Cruz portrayed Macarena Granada, a singer who is in an on-and-off relationship with Antonio Resines's character, Blas.They are part of a Francoist film troupe that travels from Spain during the Spanish Civil War to Nazi Germany for a joint production with UFA.
It was obvious there was something very impressive about this kid.... There was just something coming from within." In 1989, 15-year-old Cruz made her acting debut in a music video for the Spanish pop group Mecano's song "La Fuerza del Destino".
She recalls learning English "kind of late," previously knowing only the dialogue she had learned for the casting and the phrases, "How are you?
" and "Thank you." In 1997, Cruz appeared in the Spanish comedy film Love Can Seriously Damage Your Health.
She plays Sofia, the love interest of Eduardo Noriega's lead character. Laforest of the Montreal Film Journal commented in his September 2002 review that Cruz "has been getting some really bad reviews for her recent American work, but I personally think that she's a more than decent actress, especially here, where she's charming, moving and always believable.
[...] There's one shot in particular, where Cruz enters a room in a greenish glow, which is right out of Hitchcock's picture [Vertigo]." Kevin Lally of the Film Journal International commented in his review for the film that "in an ironic casting twist, the Spanish actress Penélope Cruz [...] is much more appealing as Josepha [than in her previous roles]".