BiographyShe was born Paz Campos Trigo on January 2, 1976, in Seville, the Spanish town famous for Carmen and singing barbers. The slender and athletic Paz first dreamed of being a sports star and later aspired to politics. But at age 15, all it took was a day at the theater to cement her ambitions; a performance of La Casa de Bernarda Alba set her sights on acting for good.
vega goes to acting school
At 16, Paz left school and patiently waited for the prestigious Centro Andaluz de Teatro acting school to accept her. The fact that she directed a Spanish play in the meantime certainly didn't hurt.
After two years at the acting school and another two studying journalism, Paz moved to Madrid, where she sought fame. She changed her name to Paz Vega (her grandmother's last name) and worked in bars while auditioning for every gig she heard about.
Her big break came on TV, where she appeared in three episodes of the Spanish series Menudo es mi padre. Two other series, Mas que amigos and Companeros, gained much from her energy and acting vim.
paz vega in 7 vidas
Paz's efforts eventually paid off. In 1999, she got her first major movie role in Zapping, in which she played a hot sex-loving vixen who snagged another woman's husband. That same year, she also had a minor part in Sobrevivire (I Will Survive), which finally got her noticed. Paz then returned to television with the career-making role of Laura in the series, 7 vidas.
It was that role that endeared her to Spaniards nationwide. Filmmaker Mateo Gil liked Paz so much that he gave her a major part in his movie Nadie conoce a nadie (Nobody Knows Anybody, 1999). As she juggled TV and movies, she quickly learned the ins and outs of the film industry and soon became a pro.
paz vega enjoys fame as lucia
Movie director Julio Medem saw her potential and asked Vega to leave her TV role to dedicate herself to his new project. His film would be so provocative, steamy and sensual that it would either be a runaway hit or an embarrassing flop. He therefore needed the right actress.
In 2001, Lucia y el sexo (Sex and Lucia) hit theaters. It told the story, in graphic and lurid detail, of an innocent girl who slowly discovers her sexuality. Paz took it all off, acting with her whole body in a gush of sensuality. Sex and Lucia became an international hit and won Paz a Goya, Spain's biggest movie award, for Best New Actress.
paz vega in talk to her
With success guaranteed, Vega was courted by the biggest names in the film industry. Spain's most important director, Pedro Almodovar, gave her a part in his award-winning film Hable con ella (Talk to Her, 2002). Soon after, she was seen in the musical romantic comedy, El otro lado de la cama (The Other Side of the Bed, 2002).
paz vega in spanglish
After two more movies, including a rendition of Carmen in 2003, Paz started being coveted abroad. James L. Brooks, of The Simpsons and As Good as It Gets fame, recently signed her for his new directing project, a comedy called Spanglish, with Adam Sandler and Tea Leoni. This movie will no doubt raise her profile in the U.S. and get her more movie roles, like fellow Spanish actress Penelope Cruz. She's already on the right track, with 2005's Un angel en la oscuridad in the pipeline.
In the meantime, Paz Vega lives in Madrid with husband Orson Salazar.