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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > Issue 274 > Pedro AlmodÓVar

Pedro AlmodÓVar

Director PEDRO ALMODOVAR — back with a new film — reveals the influences behind his sometimes controversial work, his love of strong female characters and what he thinks of Caitlyn Jenner

reign in spain

Rising to fame — indeed notoriety — in the early 1980s, Pedro Almodóvar balked at being labelled a gay filmmaker.

“When my films first left Spain, especially when they went to the US — where they were seen before being released in the UK — that’s what they called me,” says the Spanish director as he meets Attitude in a London hotel.

“I’ve never hidden the fact I’m gay but I found it strange because in Spain I’d never been classed as ‘the gay director, Pedro Almodóvar,’ so that was the first time I’d experienced it. It felt similar to a moral judgment.”

Switching from fluent English to impassioned Spanish, with an interpreter on hand to translate, the maestro insists: “You wouldn’t talk about the President of the United States and say: ‘The heterosexual President.’ So it felt like a judgment of values at that time.

“They were classifying me as a gay filmmaker rather than a filmmaker. But now I don’t care,” he adds

Pedro, who turns 67 in September, has earned the right not to care. In the ensuing three decades and more, the master moviemaker has fashioned many astonishing stories, continuing to push the LGBT+ envelope but also bringing his singular sensibilities to straight stories that reinvigorate melodramatic staples in startling new ways.

Just look at his latest film, Julieta — a drama about the younger and older versions of the same woman and her agonising search for her runaway daughter. Think Joan Crawford meets Todd Haynes by way of Pedro’s unique way with colour, voice-over and music.

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About Attitude

EXCLUSIVE: The world’s greatest supermodel Naomi Campbell tells Attitude why gay Empire actor Jussie Smollett is the hottest thing in Hollywood. Also in this issue, legendary director Pedro Almodovar, comedian Zoe Lyons, hot new thriller author Martin Holmen, awesome new music act Nimmo, artist Lindsay Kemp, and drag star Violet Chachki. Plus, professor Brian Cox explains everything you ever needed to know about the universe.