IF there is one term that sums up Spanish cinema, it is ‘Almodovar girl’.

The country’s most famous and successful director Pedro Almodovar has a penchant for ‘adopting’ actresses and turning them into stars, usually appearing in most of his films from then onwards.

And the latest entry into that select club is a valenciana.

Milena Smit, 24, was born in Elche (Alicante), where she lived during her childhood with her Castilla La Mancha-born mother and Dutch father before relocating to Madrid four years ago to look for work.

Although she admits that she never planned to be an actress, she was invited to attend an audition for a Spanish feature-length drama by Catalan director David Victori, which she passed with flying colours.

She was then coached by none other than Bernard Hiller, who has worked with Leonardo Di Caprio and Cameron Diaz, among other major stars.

Milena Smit during the premier of No mataras
Milena Smit during the premiere of No mataras

Milena debuted with Victori last year in the film No mataras (translated as Cross the line), which is currently showing at cinemas throughout the country.

Her part has already earned her a nomination for ‘Best new actress’ in this year’s Premios Goya, the Spanish equivalent of the Oscars taking place in Malaga on March 6.

But it did not stop there.

Her work impressed legendary director Pedro Almodovar so much, that he has already revealed that Milena Smit will co-star in his next blockbuster, Madres paralelas, together with fellow chicas Almodovar Penelope Cruz, Aitana Sanchez Gijon and Rossy de Palma.

Shooting for Almodovar’s next work is scheduled to begin imminently.

Not bad for a debuting actress who was working as a hotel receptionist just two years ago…

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