The OSCAR-winning actor saved the Spanish beauty and her mother ENCARNA from being stranded in the lift after it suddenly shut down as they headed towards a meeting at the Majestic Hotel, where Cruz is attending the film festival to promote drama CHROMOPHOBIA.
A source says, "It was a very scary experience, the lift stopped and no one knew what had happened.
"Penelope was pretty calm but her mother is claustrophobic and really started panicking.
"Benicio managed to get them both out of the lift single-handedly even though they were stuck between two floors.
"He has amazing upper-body strength and lifted Penelope out of the top of the lift like she was a doll."
Del Toro adds, "It was pretty hairy but I only did what any other man would do. I was glad to be able to help out."22/05/2005 20:55