Paz Vega (born Paz Campos Trigo January 2, 1976) is a Spanish
Vega was born in in Seville, Andalucía and takes her stage
name from her grandmother. After attending a performance of Federico
García Lorca's La casa de Bernarda Alba at the age of 15
she was convinced that she wanted to become an actress. After completing
compulsory education at 16 she was accepted at the prestigious Centro
Andaluz de Teatro stage school. After two years at the stage school
and two more years studying media studies, Vega moved to the Spanish
capital hoping for a lucky break into the acting world.
Vega made her television debut in the Spanish TV series Menudo
es mi padre, which starred pint-sized rhumba singer El Fary. After
appearing in two other series in 1997 - Mas que amigos and teen
drama Compañeros - she went on to grace the silver screen
in 1999 in Zapping. The same year she also had a minor role in the
David Menkes movie I Will Survive (Sobreviviré) alongside
Emma Suarez, Juan Diego Botto and a cameo from Boy George.
Yet it was with the series 7 vidas (also in 1999) that her really
big break came. The series was billed as a Spanish Friends and went
on to become one of the country's best-loved domestic sitcoms. Vega
played Laura, a perky Andalucian girl who had come to stay in the
flat of David, who had recently come out of a coma. The series was
broadcast on Telecinco and finished April 12, 2006, albeit without
After seeing Vega on 7 vidas, film maker Mateo Gil was so taken
with her that he gave her a substantial role in his film Nadie conoce
a nadie, scripted and soundtracked by Alejandro Amenábar
(who was later to be instrumental in the transatlantic success of
Penélope Cruz and successful internationally in his own right
as director of The Others and The sea inside).
The next Spanish film maker to be captivated by Vega was Julio
Medem. Vega was chosen to play the title role in his "provocatively
sensual" project Sex and Lucia (Lucía y el sexo), a
split-narrative tale of a young lady who becomes involved with a
writer and the unexpected turn events take when a discovery he makes
is followed by tragedy. In order to concentrate on the role, Vega
had to leave 7 vidas. The film, an erotically charged piece of work,
soon became an international success, winning Vega a Goya (Spain's
answer to an Oscar) for Best Female Newcomer.
In 2001 she appeared alongside Sergi López as a battered
wife in the brutal Solo mía and in 2002 no less than Pedro
Almodovar, gave her a part in his film Talk to Her (Hable con ella).
The film also starred her 7 vidas co-star Javier Cámara and
went on to win an Oscar for Best Screenplay, almost unheard of for
a foreign-language film. Soon after, she could be seen in the musical
romantic sex comedy, The Other Side of the Bed (El otro lado de
la cama, 2002).
In 2003 Vega played the feisty Andalucian cigarette-girl Carmen
in Vicente Aranda's film of the same name, alongside Argentina's
Leonardo Sbaraglia. As was Bizet's famous opera, the film was based
on Prosper Merimée's 1845 novella of passion and jealousy.
In December 2004, Paz Vega made her Hollywood debut - as a Mexican
housekeeper - alongside Adam Sandler in the romantic comedy Spanglish.
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