At only 16, Penélope Cruz landed the lead role in Bigas Luna's arthouse movie Jamón Jamón — and the rest, as they say, is history. Also starring Stefania Sandrelli and Javier Bardem, Jamón Jamón put Penélope on the path to fame. A slew of Spanish-speaking movies like Open Your Eyes and Volver followed.
By the early 2000s, Penélope was ready to conquer Hollywood. Her career achievements are well documented, but what's there to know about her personal life? Does she have kids?
Penélope Cruz has two kids with her husband Javier Bardem.
Penélope and Javier both appeared in Jamón Jamón, but they only started dating over a decade after the movie's 1992 release. They began to spend time together in 2007, after reuniting on the set of Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
Penélope and Javier made the relationship public in 2010, the year they got married. Their (top-secret) wedding ceremony was held in the Bahamas in July 2010. Penélope and Javier are extremely cautious about their privacy, and they rarely ever treat fans to public outings.
The stars share two kids. Their son, Leo Encinas Cruz, was born in January 2011. Their daughter, Luna Encinas Cruz, came into the world in July 2013. Since Penélope and Javier are eager to keep their personal and professional lives separate, they hardly ever share details about their kids.
As Penélope told Interview in 2017, the couple usually travel to shoot movies with the whole family.
"We try to take turns when it comes to working, except, of course, when we’re in the same movie, like with Loving Pablo," she told Gwyneth Paltrow, the interviewer.
As she explained, the family got to spend some time in Bogotá, among many other locations, while shooting the 2017 film.
Penélope also noted in the interview that motherhood takes up an enormous part of her life. Her parents raised her with family-centric values — and she hopes to keep those traditions alive.
She explained: "We infrequently take holidays, because the kids are young and because of our jobs. I try to travel no more than we have to. I’ve only been away from my kids for a day and a half in almost seven years," she said. "I've had to do that three times, and I’m hoping it can stay that way. When I’m not working, I’m taking time to be a mother. I can manage in the kitchen."
Penélope Cruz keeps her children out of the spotlight.
For Elle's February 2024 cover story, Penélope refrained from sharing too much about her kids' interests. Regarding whether the children would follow their famous folks' acting footsteps, Penélope said, "It’s for them to decide if they are going to have a job that is more exposed to the public or not. They can talk about that when they’re ready."
The mom of two also said she wants to keep her kids off social media until they're a bit older.
"It’s so easy to be manipulated, especially if you have a brain that is still forming. And who pays the price? Not us, not our generation, who, maybe at 25, learned how a BlackBerry worked. It’s a cruel experiment on children, on teenagers."