Penelope Cruz Shares Why She Doesn't Want to Work With Husband Javier Bardem 'That Often'
By Paige Gawley
Penelope Cruz stars in incredible movies alongside her husband, Javier Bardem, but it's not something she wants to make a habit of going forward.
The 44-year-old actress covers Marie Claire's February issue and reveals why she and Bardem -- who have co-starred in Jamon Jamon, Love Can Seriously Damage Your Health, Not Love, Just Frenzy, Live Flesh, Don't Tempt Me, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, The Counselor and Loving Pablo -- don't want to work together as much in the future.
“Obviously we can’t choose parts just for logistical reasons, like, ‘Oh, let’s work together more often because it’s easier,’" she says. "No. In fact, it’s not something we want to do that often, partly out of a desire to protect what we have."
"On the one hand, it’s easier because you know that person, he knows you, and the way you work is very similar," she continues. “On the other hand, the idea of it happening every year is kind of scary. You never know if that might mix things up too much. My instinct is that it would. I think it’s better for it to just be once in a while, even though they’ve been very good experiences.”
The pair's upcoming February thriller, Everybody Knows, was an exception to the rule, largely because of the characters they play; Bardem stars as Cruz's childhood sweetheart, whom she reconnects with when she returns home and her daughter is kidnapped.
“If we do work together we wouldn’t want to always play a couple," she says. "For instance, in Everybody Knows, they have a past, but they’re not together. In Loving Pablo they are, but then they’re also a very different couple, which helps.”
When ET caught up with the couple in October, they discussed how they manage to separate their personal and professional lives.
"We always separate," Cruz insisted. "I don't take the characters home.”
“I think whatever you do in your daily life... You bring it home. You have a bad day in your profession, you will go back home and you will be touched or moved by how the day went for better or worse,” Bardem added. “It is the same for any actor, but the important thing is to know that there’s a division, clear division, between fiction and reality. In other words, we know that what is going on there is all fiction-related… There is nothing there that has anything to do with who we are as real people.”
The "logistical reasons" for working together to which Cruz refers in Marie Claire include the couple's two children, Luna, 5, and Leo, 8. For both Cruz and Bardem -- who tied the knot in 2010 -- their children and family are their "priority," so much so that the longest Cruz has been away from her kids is four days.
"We like the family to be together," she says.
Despite being infamously private about their children, Cruz calls her life as both a mom and an actor one she "always wanted since I was a little girl" and says motherhood is what "has made me the happiest."
“I never speak about the children in interviews. I don’t care if people think I’m strange; that’s sacred for me," she says. “...But there are a lot of things that have surprised me about [motherhood]. It’s like a revolution inside you—a very animal-like one. The whole world looks different. You’ll never think of yourself first again, and I think that’s a very good thing. It happens in a second.”
When ET caught up with Bardem and Cruz in October, the duo spoke about what values they hope to instill in their children.
"I just want them to be nice, honest, caring, loving people,” Bardem said at the time. “We know that it's not easy to do because the world is a very complex place.”
“My parents taught us great values. They were very hard workers,” Cruz added. “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.”