ET's Courtney Tezeno caught up with the mother of four at the junket for her new movie, 20th Century Women, on Thursday, where she revealed that she knew she wanted to be a mom before she dreamed of being an actress.
"I always wanted to be a mom," Bening gushed. "That came before acting, that came before I knew anything."
"I was the youngest of four," she explained, adding that her motherly instincts came early. "I remember wanting my mom to have another baby and she said, 'No I'm not going to have any more.' So I don't know if that was the connection. I wanted a sibling, then very quickly [afterwards] I wanted to be a mommy. I was the little kid in the neighborhood that played with the little tinies. So I always wanted that."
Bening, who shares two daughters (16-year-old Ella and 19-year-old Isabel) and two sons (24-year-old Stephen and 22-year-old Benjamin) with husband Warren Beatty, also opened up about the qualities she hopes her children learn as they grow into adults.
"Ideally, I guess, it’s what we would want of any human being: that sort of openness and a kind of recognition of our own vulnerability," she said. "I mean, intelligence, a certain passion about life, gratitude about the gifts that come with life. Being able to tolerate all the disappointments that we all have."