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Souvenirs can say a lot about you -- particularly when they come in the form of hand wounds.

Penelope Cruz wore the marks on her hands from bruising dance routines on the ropes as reminders of her experience shooting Rob Marshall's 'Nine.' Souvenirs can say a lot about you -- particularly when they come in the form of hand wounds.

Penelope Cruz wore the marks on her hands from bruising dance routines on the ropes as reminders of her experience shooting Rob Marshall's 'Nine.'

"I didn't want the marks that I got from the ropes to go away," Cruz said on the red carpet of L.A.'s premiere of 'Nine' Wednesday. "They were my little medals. Of course they went away. I was so used to them after three weeks of training that you don't even feel physical pain anymore."

Director Rob Marshall explained Wednesday, "In her number, she was actually bleeding, which wasn't so nice, on her hands. She developed calluses and then they broke ... Everybody hurt themselves pretty badly."

Cruz -- who has a ballet background -- equates the physically challenging work to torture.

"Growing up, I did classical ballet," Cruz says. "I don't think anybody works harder than them. I never did it as a professional, but the professional ballet dancers, I don't think anybody works harder than them. It's torture."

Cruz had "many, many hours" of rehearsals over three months for the scenes and said she was "nervous and scared."

"[Getting injured] was my main worry," Cruz says. "My main number starts on a slide that is 40 meters high. You don't really see that in the wide shot. You can't appreciate how high it was. But, there were a few risks that demand for you to be totally alert so that you don't get hurt. Like always in life, when you can manage to be doing one thing at a time, usually you do great."

'Nine' hits theaters Dec. 18.