Penelope Cruz opens up about playing Donatella Versace and tries to teach Ellen Spanish

By: Meaghan Wray

Ellen DeGeneres has the best Spanish teacher! Actress Penelope Cruz had some sentences for the hilarious talk-show host to practice while promoting American Crime Story ’s second season on Tuesday (Jan. 16) – and one of the phrases wasn’t very polite!

Ellen showed a laugh-out-loud lack of improvement where her accent is concerned since formerly attempting to learn Spanish from Modern Family’s Sofia Vergara.

Penelope’s highly anticipated turn as Donatella Versace in the latest season of American Crime Story , titled The Assassination of Gianni Versace , premieres on Wednesday (Jan. 17) – and Penelope revealed that she got Donatella’s blessing before tackling the role. "She [Donatella] told me if somebody was going to do it, she was really happy that it was me, because I think she knows what I feel for her and Gianni,” the Murder on the Orient Express star revealed. “"It's important to me that when she sees what I've done she can feel the love and respect that I have put there and how I feel for her."

Penelope taught Ellen a couple funny phrases

While Penelope certainly isn’t shy about appearing on the big screen once she’s done her due diligence, she did reveal that her Golden Globes appearance this year was nerve-wracking. “I think if I did it every day, like you, in front of a huge audience, [I would] get used to it,” the actress, 43, shared. “Being on the set, with our crew [and] in our world, it is different. I do get nervous at those things.”

The 59-year-old host pointed out that she’s friends with everyone in the crowd and Penelope responded, “Yeah, but that’s the problem! You come out to give an award and you look down and two meters away it’s Oprah, Spielberg and Meryl Streep. I get shy - very shy!”

The former ballerina lives a relatively quiet life in her home country of Spain, near her beloved family. Married to the handsome actor Javier Bardem, the Hollywood couple are raising their two children, four-year-old Luna and Leo, 6, in Madrid.

Penelope and her husband Javier posed for photos on the red carpet

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