Let me be frank: I would stab a squirrel with a fork for that hair.

The interview is well-done, and it’s particularly neat because the reporter interviewed Cruz eleven years ago, in the middle of the summer where she was falling in love with her now husband Javier Bardem.  She manages to be both forthcoming and private in the piece, which is a rare skill (and one I appreciate; we all obviously love the gossip but actors don’t owe us anything, and people who manage to express truths about their lives without sounding banal but also without revealing any details are unusual). It’s also actually really interesting, which is a rarity for these pieces more often than not:

Cruz has said that no one she knew growing up did anything artistic (in contrast to Bardem, who comes from a long line of thespians and often went hungry while his actress mother scraped together a living). She has also said that the conversations she had with the women in her mother’s hair salon were a nearly training ground for acting. (Her late father was a mechanic.) All of this makes her both approachable and earthy, but she dismisses the perceived contrast between the Hollywood world and that of her childhood in a way that makes it seem snobbish to make the distinction. “My job is normal for me,” she says. “I’ve had to work very hard, and that’s what I see in my family. I don’t feel that my life is different from that.”

She also looks FANTASTIC on the cover. Part of this is because, obviously, Penelope Cruz is beautiful. But the make-up is great — her eyebrows! — and her facial expression is so appealingly direct. It’s just a pleasure to see an actress on a cover who isn’t grasping her head or waving her armpit around. Fewer celebrity armpits in 2019!

[Cover: Nico Bustos for Marie Claire]