Penelopé Cruz & Javier Bardem Met On The Set Of This Steamy Movie
The Spanish actors’ relationship timeline starts in 1992 on the set of Jamón Jamón.
For more than a decade, Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem have ruled as one of Hollywood’s most powerful, talented, and successful “it” couples. The Spanish actors are at the top of their profession both on their own and when united, as they have taken the opportunity to work together several times. Through hectic work schedules, many Oscar nominations (including two wins so far), and intense media scrutiny, they have managed to keep one thing front and center: their family. During a press conference to promote her film The Counselor, Cruz made one thing very clear: “That will always be a priority.”
In 2022, Cruz and Bardem made Academy Award history: it was the sixth time a married couple received Oscar nominations in acting categories in the same year. They were up for Best Actress and Best Actor, respectively, with her nomination coming for her role in Parallel Mothers and his for Being the Ricardos. Though they ultimately didn’t take home the Oscar for either of their roles, the couple recognizes how special it is to be in their position.
“Sharing the nomination, which is kind of historical, but especially unique for both of us, and it brings even more awareness of how blessed (we are) by what we have received and we are still receiving,” Bardem told The Hollywood Reporter in February 2022.
The year following the Oscars wound up being just as busy. Cruz will be joining Anna Wintour as a Met Gala co-chair with Michaela Coel, Roger Federer, and Dua Lipa for the 2023 event. As for Bardem, he appeared in Lyle Lyle Crocodile and stars in the upcoming Little Mermaid adaptation as King Triton.
Keep reading to learn everything about the romance between Cruz and Bardem, from when they met as co-stars to their shared Oscar nominations.
September 1992: They Meet
Cruz and Bardem met while working on the steamy film Jamón Jamón, which would turn out to be the first of several productions together. The Spanish movie was shot in 1992, but the two actors didn’t immediately jump into a romance. In fact, they were both fairly young at the time the project was released (Bardem was in his early 20s, while Cruz was still a teenager), but their meeting established a foundation for love later on.
October 2007: Sparks Fly
It would be 15 years before the pair found a chance to work together again, and Cruz and Bardem reunited in 2007 on the set of Vicky Cristina Barcelona, which was also filmed in Spain. It appears that their romance began while on the set of the Woody Allen picture, and their love was confirmed when the paparazzi caught them kissing on a beach in the Maldives in October of that year.
October 2009: They’re Engaged!
Just two years later, Us Weekly was able to confirm via a source that Cruz and Bardem had become engaged. “They tried to keep it very private and quiet,” the insider said. However, the couple still opted not to comment on their relationship status.
February 2010: Admitting They’re A Couple
In February 2010, Cruz and Bardem made their first public appearance as a couple, even though everybody knew they had been together for years. The two showed up to that year’s Goya Awards — which are often thought of as Spain’s equivalent of the Oscars — essentially confirming they were in love. Bardem accepted his fifth Best Actor prize at the ceremony for his performance in Biutiful, and in his speech, he said, “I share this joy with my friend, my companion, my love, Penélope. I owe you a lot and I love you so much.”
July 2010: A Secret Wedding
The Hollywood couple tied the knot at some point in the summer of 2010, and all signs point to the special event having taken place that July, though they were predictably secretive about the whole thing. Apparently, they wed at a friend’s house in the Bahamas, and the only people who were invited were family members of the bride and groom. Cruz reportedly wore a custom John Galliano wedding dress.
January 2011: Their First Child
Less than a year after they became husband and wife, Cruz and Bardem welcomed their first child. In January 2011, the pair was blessed with a son named Leo Encinas Cruz, who was born on Jan. 23 in Los Angeles. Back at the Goya Awards a month later, the new father explained that his wife and new child awakened his “heart and smile every day.”
February 2013: Pregnant Again!
Almost exactly two years after Cruz and Bardem became parents, they announced that they were about to double their brood with another baby. The development was first reported by Us Weekly, and then Cruz confirmed it a short time later while on a Spanish TV network. According to JustJared, during an interview, she said that she was “tremendously happy and excited” and that due to her pregnancy, she wouldn’t attend that year’s Goya Awards.
July 2013: A Little Girl Joins The Family
Less than six months after Cruz admitted that another little bundle of joy was about to join the family, she gave birth for the second time. She and Bardem welcomed Luna Encinas Cruz to the world in Madrid, Spain on July 22, 2013.
September 2017: Working Together Again
For several years, Cruz and Bardem worked hard, appeared in a number of films, and raised their two young children, just as any married Hollywood couple would. They reunited on screen once again in 2017 for Loving Pablo, a biopic about Colombian cartel head Pablo Escobar, who was played by Bardem. Cruz portrayed journalist Virginia Vallejo, with whom the criminal had a lengthy romantic relationship.
May 2018: Another Movie As Co-Stars
A year later, Cruz and Bardem were back on screen together yet again, as they apparently enjoyed working with one another. They co-starred in the Spanish-language thriller Everybody Knows, which debuted in 2018. Cruz later spoke to Marie Claire about the role, her personal life, and appearing alongside her husband, which had become a common occurrence by that point.
“Obviously we can’t choose parts just for logistical reasons, like, ‘Oh, let’s work together more often because it’s easier,’ she said. “No. In fact, it’s not something we want to do that often, partly out of a desire to protect what we have.”
December 2021: Supporting Each Other
In late 2021, both Cruz and Bardem were busy promoting their respective films that had recently been released, but they still found time to support one another. While discussing his movie Being the Ricardos, Bardem told Entertainment Tonight: “I’m very proud of her. She did amazing in Parallel Mothers, Pedro Almodóvar’s movie, and of course, it helps … to tease each other, like, ‘What’s going on with you? What’s going on on your side?’ But at the same time, we know how to take all of this... We know that we have to take it with distance. Because otherwise, it’s too crazy.”
February 2022: Oscar Nominations (Together)
In February 2022, when the Oscar nominations were announced, both Cruz and Bardem heard their names called. Cruz was up for Best Actress for her work in the Spanish-language film Parallel Mothers, while Bardem was in the running for the Best Actor honor for his portrayal of the legendary Desi Arnaz in Being the Ricardos. By snagging nods at the same time, Cruz and Bardem became one of two couples nominated alongside one another this year, as both Kirsten Dunst and fiancé Jesse Plemons earned their first chances to win after appearing in The Power of the Dog. Cruz and Bardem have now been nominated for four Oscars apiece, and each has already won a trophy.
While on the red carpet at the 2022 Screen Actors Guild Awards, Bardem shared how the couple found out they were up for Oscars together. “We were on the sofa, cuddled together waiting to see what was going to happen,” Bardem told People. “When they announced my nomination first, I was very excited, but it wasn’t a true celebration until we heard she was also nominated. We would not be able to truly celebrate together if one of us was disappointed.”
He then went on to add, “As soon as her nomination came through, we really felt the emotion of what this all means. This really hit us deep in our hearts to be able to share something so beautiful and so special together.”
February 2023: Protecting The Planet
Bardem and Cruz were among the celebrities who called for a treaty to protect the world’s oceans. They signed an open letter for the United Nations. “The oceans support all life on Earth. This week, you will decide their fate. You must finalise a strong Global Ocean Treaty here and now, at this final round of negotiations at the United Nations, or your grand promises and ambitious targets will be meaningless,” the letter read. “We are hopeful, because you can do it if you choose to.”
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