Javier Bardem has a big heart. The Spanish superstar developed a fascinating love story with his former co-star, despite being troubled by doubt in the beginning — today, they are one of the industry's most intriguing power couples.
For Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz, being in love means the willingness to accept each other without terms and conditions. It might have been more challenging if they had not developed a remarkable formula: keeping all matters private!
However, before they decided to become a unique duo, they both had an identity of their own. Bardem was the name on every Spaniard's lips following his massive success in his country's movie industry.
Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz at a photocall for 'The Counselor' in 2013 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
His passion and discipline brought him good fortune in 2000's "Before Night Falls." Bardem broke the record as the first Spanish actor nominated for an Oscar after the hit film.
What followed was a series of other sensational onscreen works, including "The Dancer Upstairs" and later, 2005's "Mar Adentro," translated as "The Sea Inside."
Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz at the 63rd Cannes International Film Festival in 2010 | Source: Getty Images
Bardem's talent earned his due recognition from directors and the Academy. He bagged an Oscar for the 2005 film "Mar Adentro" and was the "best actor" at the Venice Film Festival.
Similarly, Cruz, who at 25, was set to rule her world, found success when she crossed over to Hollywood. Her early features included "Woman on Top" and starring alongside Tom Cruise in "Vanilla Sky."
Together, the couple has proven to be even better at their game. Throughout the years, they have improved individually, leading them to become the sixth married couple to jump on the Oscars nomination list in the same year.
Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz at the 'Union de Actores' awards gala in 2018 in Madrid, Spain | Source: Getty Images
Cruz was nominated for "Parallel Mothers," while her husband got on the list for his portrayal of Desi Arnaz in "Being the Ricardos." Bardem was vocal about his profound happiness for witnessing such a moment with his wife following the nominations. He said:
"I couldn't be happier to share this celebration with my talented wife, Penelope."
Undoubtedly, being celebrities has not harmed their marriage. Their passion for acting brought them together, and they have continued to thrive while at it.
JAVIER BARDEM AND PENELOPE CRUZ MEETS
The first time the duo crossed paths was in 1992. Then, Cruz was a promising young teenager who starred alongside Bardem in an indigenous movie titled "Jamón, Jamón."
Although these two seldom share details concerning their relationship, Bardem once talked about their feature movie, confessing that their acting was exceptional onscreen.
It portrayed a lot of chemistry between them. He added that due to Cruz's age, offset they were merely acquaintances. In his words:
"Nothing happened. There was obvious chemistry between us. I mean, it's all there on film; it's like a document of our passion."
The actor gushed about showing off their first feature to their kids, telling them how a love story was born years later. He also commended Cruz's acting and her parents' confidence in releasing their young child to make such a "sexy film."
THE BEGINNING OF A LIFETIME TOGETHER
After the "Jamón, Jamón" film, the pair remained friends and kept in touch while boosting their resumé. But fate brought them together again in 2007; this time, Cruz had long left her famous relationship with one of the fans' favorites, Tom Cruise.
While working on a Woody Allen movie, feelings resurfaced between Cruz and Bardem. Even though age was no longer a deterrent, it was difficult for them to admit the attraction, as they wanted to keep it professional.
Actress Penelope Cruz, wearing jewels by Atelier Swarovski Fine Jewelry, and Javier Bardem attend the photocall for "Everybody Knows (Todos Lo Saben)" during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. | Source: Getty images
However, it all lasted until the final day of filming. Fortunately, an opportunity presented itself when a mutual friend hosted a party: to which the couple remains grateful, as it began their journey towards forever.
One would have expected it to have begun smoothly, but Bardem revealed that he had his doubts, despite being in love with her.
Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem at Palais des Festivals on May 8, 2018 in Cannes, France. | Source: Getty Images
The "Being the Ricardos" star mentioned that the actress was feisty yet compassionate, making him question if it was all worth it. According to them:
"I had to wonder, 'Do I really want this?' She has what I call the loving blood."
Eventually, Bardem chose to listen to his heart, which brought them much good and happiness. The actor focused on loving his wife's passion, which has been more than enough.
THE COUPLE HAS ALWAYS BEEN PARTICULAR ABOUT THEIR PRIVACY
Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem on March 7, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. | Source: Getty Images
Being private has been an unwritten rule in their relationship for a long time. After confirming their feelings, and they began dating, the duo remained coy about their relationship in public.
Although they were often seen together, it took a spy to observe that they were "touchy-feely," as the couple showcased a bit of intimacy only when they thought no one was watching.
Cruz was specifically hush-hush about the rumors. At first, she ignored the tabloid's stories, but later, the actress mentioned that Bardem was "just a friend."
Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem at a game between the Orlando Magic and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on January on January 18, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images
In 2009, two years after the couple sparked dating rumors, they became engaged. Sources asserted that they had wanted the news to remain private.
Another insider speculated that their engagement would lead to a wedding because of persistent gossip that Cruz was pregnant.
Following the allegations that she might be pregnant, the "Jamón, Jamón" actress cleared the air, maintaining that she was not and that she was an advocate of family, love, and children.
A few months after the engagement reports, Cruz married the man who was just her friend in an intimate Bahamas ceremony. This was also the best time they chose to clarify the rumors surrounding their bond.
During the Cannes Film Festival in 2010, Bardem recognized their relationship publicly and gave her a sweet shout-out while on stage to receive an award. He said:
"I owe you for so much, and I love very much."
PENELOPE CRUZ'S JOURNEY TO MOTHERHOOD
Despite their famous jobs, the couple knew where to draw the line, and they have never sacrificed their privacy for anything in the world.
A few months after their secret marriage, Cruz confirmed her pregnancy while working on "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides."
The following year they welcomed their firstborn, a healthy baby boy (named Leo), whom the couple withheld his name after birth.
Spanish actors Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem at the opening of the Walk of Fame on June 27, 2011 in Madrid, Spain. | Source: Getty Images
In 2013, two years after becoming first-time parents, the actress gave birth to their daughter, Luna, in a Madrid hospital.
Since their births, Cruz has never released information about the kids. The mother-of-two considers talking about them to be "sacred" and confirmed that her stance would never change forever.
However, the actress has been forthcoming about how motherhood affected her. She shared that her perception changed the first time she set her eyes on Leo.
Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem at Palais des Festivals on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. | Source: Getty Images
Although being a mother has been a dream job for Cruz, she was overwhelmed at how much responsibility the role carried. Still, she chose to do her duty as a mother because of the joy it brought. In her words:
"It's the best thing, because it means you'll never put yourself first again."
Fortunately, while Cruz embraced her role as a mother and a loving wife, her husband has been supportive, which has ultimately helped progress their marriage and relationship.