Gathered to talk about Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Pénelope Cruz, Rebecca Hall, Chris Messina and Scarlett Johansson all had similar praise for their director and writer -- even if they took different paths to get to the film. Cruz's agent actually reached out to Allen when Vicky Cristina Barcelona was in development, on the off chance Allen might have a role for her: "My agent said ... 'We found out you're doing a movie in Spain, do you want to meet Pénelope?' We met in New York, a very short meeting, which took less than one minute, and he told me 'I saw Volver, and I'm writing this story, it's not finished yet, but if it keeps going in this direction, the script, I think you could be right for this part. ...' He didn't tell me anything more about the story, or the characters, but I felt like we connected; we were laughing, and when I left, the people who work with him told me 'You've been there for such a long time.' ..."
Even after being asked, though, Cruz found the prospect of working with one of film's best-known directors daunting: "You can trust the director -- you're working with Woody Allen, you're working with a genius -- but that doesn't mean you're not going to be doubting yourself. ..."