Penelope Cruz on Being a Mamma

Penelope Cruz during photo opportunity at Rome Film Festival. Freeze Frame of APTN footage shot by Pietro De Cristofaro

This week I am covering the Rome Film Festival.  It is a relatively small and little-known compared to the Film Festivals at Venice at Cannes, but I enjoy covering because it gives me a chance to see lots of good movies and interview actors that I would not normally have access to. Wednesday night they had a small event with Penelope Cruz to talk about a film she is working on now directed by Italian Actor/Director Sergio Castellito.  It is based on a book by Margaret Mazzantini that tells the tale of a mother in Sarajevo and is called “Venuto al Mondo”.  They do not have an official translation for it yet, perhaps because it is hard to translate, but roughly it means “Brought into this World”.

Penelope Cruz just had a baby boy named Leo last January with her actor-husband Javier Bardem.  As a crazed, working Mamma I was eager to see how Penelope would be holding up.  I think secretly I was hoping that she would show up with some milk stain on her shirt, and her hair looking a little greasy.  A little bit of me wanted her to be frazzled and lose her train of thought mid-sentence.  No such luck.  Penelope emerged wearing what could have been a waiter’s outfit.  Black jacket, black pants, and a white shirt. No jewelry.  She looked absolutely stunning.  She has that incredible mane of hair, and a seductive smile.  When she speaks, she has a gentle, calm manner with a slight Spanish accent in her English.

I asked her how motherhood is affecting her professionally and this is what she said:

“I don’t know. I think every experience you have in your life will gradually make you change, make you grow. Obviously as an experience, that is the strongest one you can have as a woman.”

She then went on to speak about the character she is playing in the movie, who is a mother:

“The thing is that Gemma, the character that I am playing in the movie we are doing now “Venuto al Mondo” has this obsession to find this child that she cannot have, an experience many of you know. It is really one of the most beautiful characters that I have had in my hands in my entire career. It is interesting that this is the character that I am playing when I am at this point in my life. No?”

Well, if I was hoping that Penelope Cruz would sympathize with my mamma difficulties, I was out of luck.  Still, I liked her.

When I got home, I showed the video to my 11-year-old daughter Chiara.  She gave me a really fed-up look and said, “Mamma, she was in Pirates of the Caribbean and you didn’t even get her autograph.  I can’t believe it.”


3 thoughts on “Penelope Cruz on Being a Mamma”

  1. I’m nothing but envy!! Many years ago I saw a Ralph Lauren ad showing a woman in a flowing dress walking by a pool and I thought she was one of the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. Ads don’t name models so it was only several years later that I saw a picture of this woman and it was Penelope Cruz. My view of her hasn’t changed. Was she as beautiful as as her pictures? Does she have personal charm to equal her looks? Too bad I couldn’t take your place on that assignment!!

    1. In person I found that Penelope Cruz is as charming as she is beautiful. She has a very natural, feminine way about her. She is also very Mediterranean. Since I wrote that post I have had interviews with two other big female stars: Kristin Scott Thomas (The English Patient, Four Marriages and a Funeral etc.) and Charlotte Rampling (The Verdict, The Night Porter etc.). Each one made a very different impression on me, one positive and one negative. As soon as I have a moment, I will write up a post on them.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *