Among the most successful names of the cinema, Penelope Cruz continues to dazzle, despite her advancing age. She is happily married with the world famous Javier Bardem. The beautiful star has two children. Penelope Cruz who grabbed the attention of the world first with ‘All About My Mother’ keeps enchanting people with her talent and beauty. We had a nice chat with her.

You are a very successful actress with an Oscar award. When you receive an offer to play in a movie, what is the most important factor that affects your decision to accept it?
Actually, playing characters with poignant and intriguing life stories gives me more pleasure. So, I try not to miss these type of films. At the same time, the director of the film is also very important to me.

How did you feel when you were awarded with the Best Supporting Actress Oscar?
I felt I was on the border of passing out from tension. That I can remember very well.
I cried for half an hour to get rid of my excitement; I ate ‘300 canapés’ at the green hall; I kept pacing the ‘winners’ hall’ up and down. But the most importantly, I remember thinking, “What am I doing here? How did this happen?”

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Alcobendas; I could never imagine having a life like that someday when I was living there. My mother was a hairdresser and my father was a car mechanic.

You dance and sing in ‘Nine’. How did you get prepared for this?
When I saw the choreography at first, I thought, it would be impossible for me to both sing and dance like that; moreover, everything would be done at once without any cuts. Rehearsals of that scene took three months, advancing slowly each day. I felt like I was going to fly when I was able to do everything all together at once for the first time. It was a great feeling.

How do you like to watch yourself act at the movie theater?
I don’t want to like myself too much in my work, because if the camera sees that, it’s the thing it will hate the most, seeing an actor that likes himself too much. I have always been very self-critical. It’s one of those things I don’t feel I should try to change. I think you need that to keep growing and improving.

You had a nickname during the first years of your fame, people were calling you “Troublé”, to whom do you owe this?
Ben Affleck. One day, I was chatting with Ben and Matt (Damon). They both speak Spanish, so we were speaking Spanish. Then, Ben fixed my Spanish in his way. He said, “No, you cannot translate ‘problem’ into Spanish as ‘problema’. The exact translation should be ‘troublé’.” I told him that I was born in Madrid and Spanish was my mother language. And, as far as I knew, there was not such a word like ‘troublé’ in Spanish. They call me ‘troublé’ ever since. I think it suits me.

How were your first years in Hollywood after you began to work there?
It was not that easy. I had to work hard. I wanted to find new opportunities, more interesting roles, and different scenarios. At the beginning, I only knew a few words in English. That was why I was rejected at the auditions to play with Keanu Reeves in ‘A Walk in the Clouds’. I became furious and learned English.

Besides your success in the cinema, you are also a mother… Was there a change in your priorities after you became a mother?
Today, my greatest priority is motherhood. During the short breaks from my acting career in the years that I became a mother, devoting myself to my family and spending time with them made me feel stronger. They were the happiest times of my life without a doubt. Experiencing each moment of my children’s lives, feeling each new feeling with them all over again, seeing them grow every day are precious feelings to me. This is not something I would want to miss.

What do you remember about your memories on beauty? What did the beauty salon owned by your family contribute to you?
I used to spend most of my time at the beauty salon when I was a child. I learned to appreciate many things as I watched the women visited the salon. I noticed that this place didn’t change their lives, but actually coming here was important for them. All they did here was to pamper themselves and feel beautiful, and good about it.

What do you think makes a woman shine additional to her inner beauty?
The feeling of freedom that is free from all clichés and set standards and combined with love and respect… In my opinion, what makes a woman special is this feeling inside; the best way to express ourselves is through these feelings. Whenever I see a woman who can reflect these feelings outside as they are, I think that there is a top secret between her and the world.

When we look at you, we see a woman who treasures her personal care and has an orderly life style, is that right?
Yes, I have learned that, as the time goes by I should increase the importance that I give to myself. We could easily get away with many habits in our twenties or thirties, but we must discontinue that at the age of forty. For instance, I don’t smoke or use alcohol, I don’t drink coffee and my diet is very strict. When I look at myself, I see that I feel great. This makes me happy.

Which products do you like to use the most for your daily makeup?
I don’t use makeup much during my daily life. I care using natural makeup products. Moisturizing my skin before applying makeup is the most important step to me. As it is for many other women, eyeliner application is the most important one for me, too. Eyeliners that are easy to apply shortens the time spend for the steps of applying makeup. Also, a mascara that compliments an eye makeup is an indispensable product.