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Penélope Cruz Hopes to Keep Son ‘Anonymous’

05/16/2011 at 02:00 PM ET
VOGUE/Mario Testino

Only a few short weeks before arriving on set to film Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Penélope Cruz discovered she was expecting her first child with husband Javier Bardem — and the actress couldn’t wait to share her happy news.

“I was pregnant and a pirate,” Cruz, 37, tells the June issue of Vogue. “A beautiful experience.”

However, in an effort to keep her personal life private, Cruz has kept the pregnancy, son Leonardo‘s January birth, and life as a new mom out of the spotlight.

“I want my son — and my kids if I have more — to grow up in a way that is as anonymous as possible,” Cruz explains. “The fact that his father and I have chosen to do the work that we do, doesn’t give anybody the right to invade our privacy.”

That said, basking in motherhood bliss, Cruz tearfully admits she was not prepared for the sudden rush of emotions brought on by meeting baby Leo for the first time.

“Even if you have heard from all your friends and family, ‘This is what’s going to happen,’ until it happens to you, it’s hard to understand in your soul,” she shares. “From the first second, you feel so much love. It is a revolutionary experience. It transforms you completely, in a second.”

And according to Cruz, carrying a child for nine long months is anything but a coincidence. “Nature is very wise and gives you nine months to prepare, but in that moment — when you see that face, you are transformed forever.”

Despite her hectic sleep schedule with a 3½-month-old — “Some nights you sleep more, some nights less” — Cruz is more determined than ever to keep up her global charitable efforts, including her work with Bono and Sean Penn.

“Even if you were aware of children and felt compassion, when you have your own, it multiplies,” she says. “It breaks your heart to know that there are so many children in the world suffering so much.”

– Anya Leon

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Showing 47 comments

JAZZY on

How nice to see a celebrity family choose not to exploit their children by lavish magazine covers/photo shoots, and baby’s very own twitter page!

Sarah S. on

Good luck to her and Javier–I hope they can pull it off. All children are innocent and need to be protected.

VEO on

I agree whole heartedly. They are people doing what they love, and just because that is acting does NOT give ANYONE the right to violate their privacy and their kids privacy. It is a little sickening to know someone is always watching your child and wanting to capture them on camera. I hope they are able to keep baby Leo away from the paps.

meme on

Johnny Depp has mangaged well to keep his kids out of the spot light, so I am sure she will get some good advice from him.

Christina on

While I respect that they want their lives to be private, as it should be, I see celebrity children as any other children. Some of us get more excited about them then others. What I don’t like is when the celebrity is walking down the street and the paps are following their every move. If the parents choose to have pictures of their child in the magazine that is their choice. Like Angelina and Brad, they know that people are wanting to see the baby so they make a deal where we get to see them and they donate the money to a worthy cause. i do agree that there are celebrities out there that are pimping their children. Good for Peneplope and Javier for not wanting to do that.

Anonymous on

I so agree Jazzy. Penelope and Javier seem so down to earth which is refreshing.

N.S on

Love her!

Um – she’s a gorgeous woman, and that picture on Vogue is gorgeous too- but that just does not look like her at all to me.. have they done something with her face, I barely recognised her…?

maryb on

They come from a culture/country that protects children privacy. In Spain, it is against the law for any media outlets to publish photographs of celebrities or politician’s children without the permission of the parents. I understand their concerns.

just sayin’ on

Classy lady, intriguing and gifted actress. Unlike a lot of celebs, she genuinely seems to want to keep work and her personal life separate and I hope she succeeds in guarding her son’s privacy.

Despite assumptions to the contrary, it IS possible for a successful A-list star to live in relative anonymity and keep intrusive paparazzi away from their kids — look at Jodie Foster, Julia Roberts and to a certain extent, Gwyneth Paltrow. Angelina & Brad also maintain control over access to their kids and they are not regular features on gossip sites like a lot of kids. All of these people are top tier celebrities and Oscar winners yet they seem to be quite successful at maintaining a certain measure of privacy and protecting their children.

Lesia on

Good for her…smart move, but the Paparazzi may hound her until they see a photo of him..she may be better off doing a controlled photo shoot like the Jolie-Pitts did so they would be hounded less

Georgie on

She looks A LOT like keira knightly in this picture. But gorgeous nonetheless!

Tammy on

I love hearing what new moms say because they’re truly words you can never understand until you’re a mom yourself.

Jazz on

Well its gonna be hard to keep her son “anonymous” when People Mag and other media outlets are constantly hounnding these celebs and their babies.

Jazz on

Well its gonna be hard or her to keep her son “anonymous” when People Mag and other media outlets are constantly hounding these celebs and their children.

Lala on

@N.S., I agree. It looks like the photo was taken 15 years ago, she looks way younger than 37 in that picture.

Amanda on

I doubt she’ll be hounded Lesia, I don’t think most people consider her as ‘big’ as Brad and Angelina.

I do hope she can keep her baby as annonymous as she would like. I do believe there has never been confirmation of the name so not sure why People is posting it as if it’s fact.

To those complaining about People ‘hounding’…they wouldn’t ‘hound’ if it didn’t pay off and every single person on this site is making it pay off for People to ‘hound’ celebrities and their children.

Maggie on

She confirmed the baby’s name as Leonardo in Vogue.

TAC on

Girl get over yourself!!!!

jb on

good for her-classy lady!

Kat on

She can say whatever she wants because she and Javier are big movie stars and their careers are already established. If she was a wonna be, or one of those reality stars I’m sure she would do anything to make an extra buck. However I commend them for their decision and wish them the best.

joanie on

Maybe other actors should take Ms. Cruz and Mr. Depp lead. Because when you know too much about an actor, the illusion is gone and we are not interested in the film they are making. Can one ever see a Tom Cruise move without thinking about all his “baggage” or a Mel Gibson film. We watch movies to escape. How can a character come to life in our mines when we know so much about them. Lots of actors are making this mistake and their films are failing. Kudos to you guys. Thank you for entertaining us.

lisa on

RE: Love her!

Um – she’s a gorgeous woman, and that picture on Vogue is gorgeous too- but that just does not look like her at all to me.. have they done something with her face, I barely recognised her…?

– N.S on May 16th, 2011

N.S. – apparently she has freckles and we always see her with make up on. She does look very young. Nice looking lady, I hope she and Javier keep their child protected.

Lau on

I never liked her much, but I’m liking everything I’m reading here! She sounds like a great person.

And I also agree with how different she looks in this picture. In my opinion, more gorgeous than ever. Look at those freckles! Beautiful.

JMO on

Yes it is possible to keep your child out of the spotlight and those that have greater success are one’s that do not live in Hollywood. It’s kind of hard to live in a paparazzi town and be able to completely stay away from it.

Susana on

She confirmed the baby’s name as Leonardo in Vogue.

– Maggie on May 16th, 2011
Lmao! She met that she will keep her child out of the media!

Nella on

For some reason that cover doesn’t look like her, she looks different to me in movies and on red carpet. I am not a fan of Penelope Cruz, her acting is mediocre to me and I don’t find her all that interesting, but that’s just my opinion. However I do think what she said about her son and being a new mother is beautiful. I wish her and Javier much happiness and I hope they can shield their son from the hollywood/media. Some a-list celebs have managed to do that, so I hope they can as well.

Tess on

I agree with her, but maybe she should start things off by not talking about her kid in interviews.

Annika on

Um…actually in choosing the career they did, they GAVE UP their claim to “privacy”. I am assuming neither of them were raised under a rock, so they DID know what would happen if they lucked out and managed to convince people they were talented enough to pay $12 a pop to watch on the big screen.

Their child, however, is an entirely different story, and I hope the media does leave the little cutie alone. HE has a right to privacy.

Susana on

* meant!

Grace2 on

I would never have thought that was her. And it’s not the freckles, either. It looks like she had a nose job, which is fine of course. Either that or the magazine had too much fun in photoshop. Either way, congrats to them.

Jacqui on

VOGUE photoshopped the bejesus out of this pic of her. Why? She’s beautiful the way she is naturally!

Jen DC on

I don’t think becoming an actor is a tacit agreement to give up personal privacy.

These two have an excellent chance of having children with “normal” childhoods, primarily because they don’t live in the States. I’ve seen maybe 5 pix of Johnny Depp’s kids and it’s because he raised them in France. If she does the same – raises her son/children overseas – it shouldn’t be that much of a stretch for them.

anen on

ugh it’s spanish culture if u go to any spanish media sites they blurr out all the famous people’s kid faces unless permition was given; obviously it’s a bit different here.

Krystal on

I always loved her for her acting skills and her realness as a person. I hope she gets the privacy they deserve. Its hard for them in Spain to not be photographed as a couple because over there they are like Brad and Angelina. Huge! They should have the same law here that they have in Spain with children not being allowed to be photographed.

Curious on

I agree that the press has no right to intrude on their privacy by taking pictures of their child, but she and her husband have chosen a profession that asks all of us to support them financially. They need to stop whining because people are then interested in what they do. I am sure they have enough money, by now, that they could leave Hollywood and do something else that would keep them out of the press. Go back to Spain, live a quiet life, get a real job. Make a choice, people.

Susan Albert on

I wish them good luck. I know it is very difficult for any celibrity to try and have a private life.. but it can be done. I have a lot of repect for Pennelpe & her husband.

Liz on

She and her husband CHOSE to be celebrities thus their personal life is public information as well. If she wants her privacy she shouldn’t have become a celeb.

Iris on

I strongly disagree.

If you want te be famous, and they obviously want that, a lack of privacy comes with the job. She knew that before she choose to act.

Were I live, The Netherlands, it’s very common to see pictures of the children. No problems here! I think it’s the way the papparazzi behave, not the fact that pictures are taken.

Romy on

I don’t understand the picture. I could barely tell it was her. She’s gorgeous, they made her look like someone else and not as pretty.

Cécile on

I’m sure she can manage it.As some posters have already stated, A list stars like Jodie Foster, Johnny Depp, Robert de Niro, Al Pacino,Sean Penn, Bono have been able to shield their kids from the spotlight. I think it depends largely on the way you handle promo/itw on TV. Some stay focused on their movies/albums and politely refuse to share personal infos (see Jodie Foster when doing the promo for The Brave a few years ago), others share every milestone of their kids, fueling the interest in the media.

And I don’t see why chosing this career is an agreement to give up your privacy. Maybe she grew up looking to stars like Streep or Sarandon who built successful careers in Hollywood without anybody knowing their breastfeeding habits or which brand of diapers they used.Maybe she just told herself “hey I could do it too”.Remember, she began in the early 90s, way before the net frenzy.

Someone on

I disagree with many things said before me. curious said “get a real job” this is really stupid because being an actor IS a job and one harder than many other jobs. And to all the people who are saying that she wanted to be a celeb so she has no right to have privacy, i agree that a celeb shouldn’t whine, but to me celeb refers to people like kardashians, kendra wilkinson and so on. To me Penelope is an actress, not a celeb and as a person who’s just doing her job I feel she should be able to enjoy the same privacy enjoyed by common people.

Having said that I’m confident it won’t be a big problem to keep her boy out of the spotlight as we don’t see her much so no problem.

Amanda on

I don’t think anyone’s that interested in her kid, are they?

Catca on

Penelope and Javier live in L.A., yet somehow manage to avoid the paparazzi. It speaks volumes about the fact that it is possible with a little effort.

Having said that, in a way, the fact they do have to make an effort and the paparazzi can’t respect their wishes for privacy for a child means the child isn’t growing up normal because they’ll have to skip park visits in favor of a backyard playground and play dates only, meaning the child doesn’t get a chance to learn to make friends on their own, etc. It’s really a no win situation for the celebrities which actually makes me feel a little guilty for visiting this website as by doing so I help create the big money for the paparazzi photographing celebrity’s kids.

I wish the celebrities could make deals with the paparazzi with respect to their kids so the celebs that want their kids to stay out of the limelight, should have that wish respected, and the paparazzi can continue to photograph the kids of other celebs like Tori Spelling and Kendra Wilkinson who don’t seem to mind.

Tess on

Cecile – great post.

Mia on

It is possible-even Brad Pitt + Angelina Jolie have done a great job lately at keeping their family under the radar–how often have we seen them out/about lately?–almost none…if there is a will/there is a way.

samantha on

I respect both Penelope and Javier as people, parents and actors..they have it together and they’ll do what’s right for their little angel Leo…The media makes me sick!!

Terri on

That’s a sweet interview. I love that picture. I never realized that she has freckles. So cute.

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