Spanish Actress Penelope Cruz on Motherhood, Aging & More: ”Something Very Deep Changed In Me”

You know those moments when motherhood makes you cringe and almost scares you? Then suddenly, it becomes a funny, hilarious moment that you get to look back on and laugh?

Well, academy Award-winning actress and super mom of two Penelope Cruz had one of those moments and she’s taking us through it.

In the October issue of Interview, Cruz, 43, who has of late, gone a bit under the radar, taking time to raise a family  and talks about family life with husband Javier Bardem and their two children, son Leo, 6, and 4-year-old daughter Luna.

On how motherhood has shifted her priorities:

Cruz and kids

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”I’m happy to say that my ego has gotten smaller over time. I used to be so afraid about what people were going to think of me, if I was going to be accepted, if I was going to be loved.

I put a lot of energy into the perception of myself. When I became a mother—almost seven years ago—something very deep changed in me, where I really don’t care about a lot of the stuff I used to care about before.

That’s part of growing up, and now I have to go through other tests that life will put in front of me. I have new fears now.”

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On shooting a movie with her hubby:

”The first time we worked together as a couple was in Loving Pablo. I was a little worried about playing these characters who are so cruel to one another—like, how was that going to work? But it went great.

We were there to help each other and protect each other, and the director is one of our best friends. We felt like it was the three of us together.”

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On not being away from the children for too long:

”We infrequently take holidays, because the kids are young and because of our jobs. I try to travel no more than we have to. I’ve only been away from my kids for a day and a half in almost seven years.

I’ve had to do that three times, and I’m hoping it can stay that way. When I’m not working, I’m taking time to be a mother. I can manage in the kitchen, although I will never cook as well as you do.”

On Hollywood’s obsession with the aging of women:

”My mom worked very hard to raise us, as did my dad, without bullshit. I’ve always had a real sense of rootedness in family and reality.

It’s not like I’m proud of the values I have, because I don’t feel like they’re up to me—they just come from the way I was raised.

I’m rooted by the things I’ve seen in my mom, the things I admire in her. And in my father. When it comes to talking about aging as an actress, I feel like, “What the fuck? I’m not going to give you even two minutes to honor your question. It doesn’t deserve that.” Something changed when I gave birth to my daughter.

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I started thinking, “Come on, it’s 2017. Why do women still have to be talking about this? It’s crazy.” That sense only got bigger when I had children.

I wouldn’t for a second change the way I feel now for the way I felt in my twenties. How I see the world, how I look at acting—everything has changed.

It has, in a way, brought me back to the beginning, when I was 4 and loving dancing, loving getting in the skin of other characters and exploring the beauty of human behavior.

I get so much happiness from being a student again, from exploring. Whatever happens with the result, if I’ve had that process, I feel like it has been something good, that it has taught me something new. If I’m 80 and I have a new character in my hands and a new story to tell, I’m going to feel that same healthy fear. It’s like food for me.”

Penelope and Bardem are two of Hollywood’s power-players. Not many couples both have an Oscar on the mantelpiece.
The couple married in the Bahamas in 2010
Picture credit: Getty
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“Spanish Actress Penelope Cruz on Motherhood, Aging & More: ”Something Very Deep Changed In Me””

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