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Penélope Cruz makes revelation about son Leo with incredibly rare glimpse into parenthood with Javier Bardem

The Spanish actress spoke on stage at BAFTA: A Life in Pictures in London on Monday

Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem attend the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on March 27, 2022
Nicky Morris
Nicky MorrisTV and film writer
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Penélope Cruz has shared a rare insight into parenthood with Javier Bardem, opening up about the reason why she welcomed her first child at the age of 38. 

The Spanish actress gave a glimpse inside her family life whilst speaking on stage at BAFTA: A Life in Pictures in London on Monday, which celebrated Penélope's illustrious career in the TV and film industry. 

WATCH: All you need to know about Penélope Cruz

Whilst chatting about her early days in Hollywood, Penélope explained how she embraced her busy schedule of four movies a year so that she could slow down once she had children. 

"I didn't experience the heroic move of 'I'm leaving my country'. My plan was always to be able to combine the work in Europe with the work of America, or wherever interesting materials would come from," explained Penélope, who is a doting mom to her two children, Leo and Luna.

Penélope Cruz on stage at BAFTA: A Life in Pictures in London © BAFTA/Alecsandra Dragoi
Penélope Cruz on stage at BAFTA: A Life in Pictures in London

"That was what I wanted but it was not just up to me. I was very lucky that I got those opportunities and possibilities. The rhythm was crazy, it was four movies per year. Also, no one was forcing me to do that but I had the energy at that moment and I knew it was the time for that because I knew when the moment came I had children, I would not want that rhythm, I'd want to raise my children myself."

The 49-year-old continued: "I also knew that's why I didn't want to do it too soon. I had my first kid at 37. I was lucky because you can fantasize and plan and maybe things don't happen that way, but for me, that was very, very important and that's why those years were a lot of work and so much traveling."

Penélope's son supported his mom in the audience at the BAFTA event, prompting the actress to gush over her children. "I'm very nervous today because somebody very, very special to me is in this room, my son."

Penélope Cruz on stage at BAFTA: A Life in Pictures in London © BAFTA/Alecsandra Dragoi
Penélope was interviewed by host Mariayah Kaderbhai

Explaining how she and her husband tend to keep her children out of the spotlight, the actress added: "He's very special to me, my kids are the most important thing in my life, obviously, and they don't come to a lot of these things."

Penélope and Javier are one of Hollywood's most enduring power couples. The pair first crossed paths while filming the 1992 drama film, Jamón Jamón, but didn't get together until 16 years later on the set of the 2008 film, Vicky Cristina Barcelona. 

Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem attend the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California.© Getty Images
Penélope and Javier have been married since 2010

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The actors tied the knot in 2010 in a small ceremony held in the Bahamas. They went on to welcome their son Leo in 2011, and their daughter Luna in 2013. 

Penélope and Javier are clearly doting parents to their brood. Opening up about family life during an interview with Vulture in 2019, Javier stressed the importance of prioritizing their son and daughter. "Life has changed. We have grown. Everything is different once you're family," he explained. "That is the priority, as it should be. We're no exception from that. 

Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem in Cannes in 2018
The couple share two children

"We work as hard as we can, but we recognize how hard we can work depends on each other's needs. It's important not to be confused by fiction. Fiction is fiction, reality is its own thing."

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