Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem on the Cultural Values Being Passed Down to Their Children (Exclusive)

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They’re the power couple everybody aspires to be. 

Spanish actors Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem have joined forces once again to star in Fernando León de Aranoa’s Loving Pablo. 

The film chronicles the rise and fall of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar (Bardem) and his volatile love affair with Colombia's most famous journalist, Virginia Vallejo (Cruz).

ET caught up with the Academy Award-winning duo to discuss their big screen collaboration and how their heritage has influenced their career and family life.

“I think it’s about really believing in what you do,” Bardem told ET’s Courtney Tezeno, as he reflected on his successful film career. “Feeling at least that you do have some impact on someone.”

Bardem, who is the youngest member of a family of actors, began acting at the age of six. He landed his first feature film in 1992’s Jamon, Jamon, where he met a then 18-year-old Cruz. The two married in 2010 and have two kids together, 7-year-old Leo and 5-year-old Luna.

The 49-year-old actor says his heritage has played a huge factor in the roles he’s taken on over the course of his 26-year career. Bardem has been nominated three times for an Academy Award and earned his first Oscar for 2007's No Country for Old Men.

“You know that you want to change the world,” he said. “You want to put a mirror as an actor, so you can see ourselves in it for better or worse. Because that’s what any art discipline should do, whether painting or music or sculpture or movies or theater.”

As a father, Bardem says his priorities are about instilling the fundamental values that he grew up with to his children. 

“I just want them to be nice, honest, caring, loving people,” he expressed. “We know that it's not easy to do because the world is a very complex place.”

Cruz, best known for playing bold female characters in films like Volver, Broken Embraces and The Counselor, says the lessons she learned from her parents continue to resonate with her, becoming the cornerstones of her worldview.

“My parents taught us great values. They were very hard workers,” she said. “They didn’t take anything for granted. They really valued family. Family has always been a priority. That's how I was raised and what I have always seen. I don't know any other way. Like family comes first and then everything else.”

The 44-year-old actress, who won an Oscar in 2009 for Vicky Cristina Barcelona, says her children have inspired her to go into animated films. 

“I haven't done a lot of films that are for children, but I'm looking. I hope that I can do some animation work. I would love to,” she said with a smile. “I tried to get into Frozen 2. That was the one [I wanted], but no way.”

For more on Loving Pablo, which hits theaters Friday, Oct. 5, watch the video below. 

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