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.
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