Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem – they owe their marriage to the fickle film industry and they have repaid the debt by lending their undeniably electric chemistry to the silver screen. But he is quick to point out that they work hard to not allow the lines to blur. “Fiction is fiction, reality is its own thing.”
How Did Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem Meet?
A romance didn’t blossom between the two until the filming of Woody Allen’s 2008 film Vicky Christina Barcelona but Cruz and Bardem were already old hands at heating up celluloid. After all, they had starred opposite one another in the steamy Spanish dramady Jamon Jamon way back in 1992.
The duo was able to keep their bourgeoning love affair under wraps during the picture’s production but snapshots of an intimate rendezvous in the Maldives seemed to confirm that there was something more between them.
But confirmation was not forthcoming. When pressed for comment about the possibility of an off-set assignation, Cruz demurred that Bardem was, “a friend and the best actor in the world.”
An eventual “coming out” occurred at the 2010 Goya Awards – the Spanish equivalent of the Academy Awards – and Bardem’s Cannes Film Festival Awards Ceremony speech revealed the extent of his devotion.
“I share this joy with my friend, my companion, my love: Penelope. I owe you a lot and I love you so much.”
Top Secret Wedding
Though Cruz once expressed ambivalence about marriage – “I don’t know if I believe in [it]” – she and Bardem did eventually make their relationship legal. The ceremony was held in the Bahamas, inside the home of a close friend. The event was a private affair with very few attendees.
The Family Expands
In January of 2011, the couple welcomed a baby boy into the world. Leo Encinas was eventually joined by his sister Luna Encina in 2013. Cruz’s youngest was reportedly born one month past the expected due date.
Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem – Collaborative Efforts
Following their work on Jamon, Jamon and Vicky Christina Barcelona, Cruz and Bardem appeared together in seven subsequent features. Among them the Pedro Almodovar effort Live Flesh, Love Can Seriously Damage Your Health (a romantic comedy), and the biographical film Loving Pablo.
According to Cruz, working side by side with her real-life partner has a number of advantages. “I really respect his opinion—obviously his is one of the most important opinions in my life.
“You are doing your work in front of this other person who is [on screen] not your husband. You feel a little more observed [than you would with different co-stars], but you know you are being observed by someone who you trust, who has your back.”
However, frequent collaboration isn’t something that either one would like to indulge in very often. In fact, Cruz worries that it might, “mix things up too much,” and instead she feels that “it’s better for it to just be once in a while…”
Why So Secretive?
During an August 2019 interview with Tatler magazine, Cruz explained that during the early days of her and Bardem’s courtship, they had come to a special arrangement. “We made a decision, a really good decision for us, not to talk about our relationship. It would feel very strange to do it a different way. I just couldn’t do it.”