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Speaking in tongues

'Spanglish' cast cuts through cultures

At Thursday night’s “Spanglish” preem, helmer-scribe James L. Brooks explained how he cast Spanish thesp and Penelope Cruz clone, Paz Vega to play a Mexican maid.

“I looked in every country,” Brooks said at the after-fete on the Sony lot. “Everything else being equal I cared about the nationality. But finally acting is pretending you are someone else. All the Hispanics around me made sure we got her Mexican accent right.”

Vega not only did not have the correct accent but she also did not speak any English when she landed the lead role in her first American feature.

“I got the part in just one day,” Vega said. “I did the screen test and I got it. It was very easy and exciting.”

Also working their communication skills: Sony’s Amy Pascal and Geoff Ammer; producer Julie Ansell; pic’s Cloris Leachman; composer Hans Zimmer; plus Amanda Peet, Jimmy Fallon and Michael Moore.

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