Penelope Cruz: I look carefully before accepting parts now I am a mother

The award-winning Spanish actress stars as the mother of a film director in Pedro Almodovar's Pain & Glory.

Penelope Cruz has said she has to “really look carefully” at roles before accepting them now she is a mother.

The Oscar-winning Spanish actress, 45, is married to fellow actor Javier Bardem, 50, and the couple share two children – eight-year-old Leo and six-year-old Luna.

She told PA she now accepts only one or two films a year, compared with the four or five she worked on before becoming a parent.

Pain and Glory Premiere – London
Penelope Cruz with director Pedro Almodovar and co-star Antonio Banderas (Ian West/PA)

Speaking at the premiere of Pain & Glory at London’s Somerset House, Cruz said reducing her workload had been a “natural change”.

She said: “Because I have two kids and they are young, I decide based on location and how much time (a film) will take. That’s why I take just one or two a year.

“For many years I was doing four or five a year. I cannot have that rhythm now that I am a mother.

“And I don’t want that. I want to be able to raise my children myself, so that makes the decision.

“You really have to really look carefully when you say yes to a film.”

Pain and Glory Premiere – London
Penelope Cruz at the Pain & Glory premiere at Somerset House (Ian West/PA)

Pain & Glory, which also stars Antonio Banderas, sees Cruz reunited with Spanish director Pedro Almodovar.

She has starred in a number of his films, including acclaimed 2006 feature Volver, where she played a working-class woman forced to go to great lengths to protect her young daughter.

Cruz said accepting a part in Pain & Glory, in which she plays the protagonist’s mother, had been an easy decision.

“In this case, it was really easy because it was three weeks with Pedro in Madrid,” she said.

“Right now, I am making a movie in London during the summer. It is called 355 – the spy movie – where all the spies are female, by the way.

“It is a natural change for me. I don’t see myself doing it any other way.”

Pain & Glory is out in UK cinemas on August 23.

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