Spanish screen siren, actress Penelope Cruz stars at the cover of The Edit magazine by Net-A-Porter, November 14th issue. Photographd by Mariano Vivanco and styled by Jo Schlenzka. This Passion issue of The Edit magazine brings white hot dresses, showstopping heels and the most sultry lingerie ever – seductive modern style to fall in love with. Inside interview brings conversation with Penelope Cruz where she reveals her personal passions – her hidden talent to red-carpet dressing.
Check out below the interview with Penelope from The Edit magazine by Net-a-porter:
The Oscar-winning actress and Pedro Almodóvar muse, famous for her natural sultry appeal, is embracing her new roles as mother-of-two and exclusive lingerie designer for Agent Provocateur. PENÉLOPE CRUZ talks to CHLOE FOX about how she turned her passions into success stories.
Penélope Cruz is tired. Not just party-tired, though the night before our meeting she and her sister Mónica co-hosted a dinner with NET-A-PORTER to launch L’Agent, the sisters’ diffusion lingerie line for Agent Provocateur. No, Cruz is mama-tired. Having got home after midnight, she was then up all night feeding her four-month-old daughter, Luna. Today, as well as having work (and more feeding) to do, she also has a two-and-a-half-year-old son, Leo, to keep happy. When she arrives at the hotel suite for The Edit’s shoot, she falls on a plate of pastries with a squeal and proceeds to wave a croissant tantalizingly above her little boy’s beautiful, curly-haired head.
She is dressed in jeans and biker boots, with her hair unbrushed and no makeup, but still the actress has star impact. Just over an hour later, with her eyes in full siren smolder, she is breathtaking. There is an old-school glamor to Cruz, whose surprisingly tiny body is all well-proportioned womanliness. You can feel the sensuality coming off her in waves; it is a modern version of that seductive self-confidence of the European sex bombs – Bardot, Loren and Cardinale – who paved her way.
None of these, however, came close to achieving the kind of success that Cruz has achieved in the 20 years since she made her film debut, aged 18, in Bigas Luna’s Jamón, Jamón. In 2007, she became the first Spanish actress ever to be nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in Pedro Almodóvar’s Volver. Then, in 2009, Cruz became the first Spanish actress to win an Oscar for her portrayal of tempestuous Maria Elena (opposite her now husband, Javier Bardem) in Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona. As in demand in Hollywood as she is in Europe (this year sees her star in Ridley Scott’s The Counselor and Sergio Castellitto’s Twice Born), this funny, feisty 39-year-old is at the peak of her powers.
As a former student of ballet (she trained for nine years) with a reputation for iron-willed self-discipline, Cruz’s long list of achievements doesn’t stop there. Over the years, she and her sister have collaborated on various fashion projects (for Mango, most notably), the latest of which – the first-ever diffusion line from Agent Provocateur – is their most exciting to date. “We both love underwear,” says the woman described by Almodóvar as having “the most spectacular cleavage in cinema”. “We’re very proud of what we’ve created.” The range is sexy, stylish and affordable, and taps into Cruz’s own Castilian brand of girl power. “Where I come from, the figure of the woman – the mother especially – is strong, powerful, respected,” she says. “Her beauty is just one of her weapons.”
Since becoming a mother herself, Cruz – who admits to being a pathological worrier – has felt a new self-assurance enter her life. “When you have children, your attention is put on the more important things,” she says. Cruz also finds herself much less interested in the way she looks. “When I’m having my hair and makeup done for a movie or a photo shoot, I never look in the mirror,” she says. “I just set up my office there…my script, my notes, my BlackBerry, and I focus on those things. I always have things I have to catch up on, especially now I have children to keep me busy.” Family means everything to Cruz. Fiercely protective of her privacy (“She would like to shoot the paparazzi who try to take her children’s pictures,” says Almodóvar), she is nonetheless evangelical about the importance of keeping close to those close to you. On this trip to London, she is accompanied, not only by Mónica (and her baby), but also by their mother. “My priority is my family,” she says with passion. “That is the way I have been raised.”
Born in Madrid in 1974 to working-class parents, Cruz grew up in a household full of love and freedom. On Sundays, the entire family (Cruz also has a younger brother, Eduardo Jnr) would clean the house while listening to opera at full volume. One day, her father brought home a Betamax video player. “I would rent these huge tapes and watch them over and over again,” Cruz once recalled. At 15, she had an epiphany when she saw Pedro Almodóvar’s Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (lying about her age to get into the movie theater). She decided she would do everything she could to become an actress. By the time she was 17, she had been cast in Jamón, Jamón. “I’m a very determined person!” she laughs.
Despite the exhaustion, Cruz feels she is at a very fulfilled time in her life. “Every day I appreciate the people I have in my life, the job I am paid to do, the food I have on my plate, and the health that keeps me going,” she says. Age doesn’t frighten her, because she has “so much to look forward to”; working – inevitably – with Almodóvar again, taking a role in the theater, immersing herself in her family, feeding her passions for eating well and singing karaoke, and spending some of her hard-earned money on beautiful things (“I love buying clothes – especially on NET-A-PORTER – although it’s dangerous, as I get addicted!”)
Tiredness seems a small price to pay. “Hey,” she shrugs. “I love to sleep, so tonight I will go to bed at nine o’clock and be very happy.”