Academy Award-winning actress Penelope Cruz talks to Gwyneth Paltrow in the October issue of Interview 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 shifted her priorities: “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.”
On if she’ll do a play one day: “At some point, maybe when my kids are older. Now isn’t the time to commit to something that’s every day at the same time for months. I studied theater for years, and I’ve never been more nervous than when I was in front of the other students. Somebody offered me Tennessee Williams’s The Rose Tattoo on Broadway, and I was really tempted, but I said no. Call me a coward.”
On shooting a movie with Javier: “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.”
On not being away from the kids 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. 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.”
For more from Penelope, go to Interview…