‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star Penélope Cruz: ‘It’s so much fun to play a good liar’

May 27, 2011 | 4:31 p.m.
penelope cruz Pirates of the Caribbean star Penélope Cruz: Its so much fun to play a good liar

Penélope Cruz in Madrid in May. (Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

The day before the Disneyland premiere of “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” the actress Penélope Cruz lounged back on a couch in a bright hotel room in Santa Monica and put her hand over her heart in a gesture of great emotion.

“Making this film had great meaning for me and I will remember it for all of the rest of my life,” the 37-year-old star said with a kind of moist-eyed conviction that you don’t typically associate with summer popcorn films. “This became much more than a movie.”

angelica penelope cruz pirates Pirates of the Caribbean star Penélope Cruz: Its so much fun to play a good liar

Penélope Cruz in "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides." (Walt Disney Studios)

The reason went beyond scripts and box office — the Oscar-winning actress and her husband, Javier Bardem, welcomed their first child, Leo Encinas Bardem, in January and that meant during the six-month shoot for “Pirates” that Disney, director Rob Marshall, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, star Johnny Depp and the rest of the cast and crew all tilted toward the needs of an expectant mother.

“They made a few adjustments and they made me feel really safe and protected,” the Madrid native said. “It was a beautiful time. The movie shoot was long, it was six months, but I only have beautiful memories of it. Every day of it was wonderful. Every day we laughed. Sometimes Rob was worried that Johnny and I would never stop laughing. It is more and more important to me to work with people who are nice human beings. It doesn’t matter to me how talented someone is if they are not good and kind people. The older you are the more value you give to decency.”

In the film, Cruz plays Angelica, a pirate vixen who has an intimate history with Captain Jack Sparrow (Depp) and possible blood-ties to the fearsome Blackbeard (Ian McShane). It’s a pretty straightforward role for an actress whose credits include “Woman on Top,”  “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” Blow,” “Broken Embraces” and “All About My Mother,” but Cruz said any character can be elusive on the page and on the screen.

piratespremiere Pirates of the Caribbean star Penélope Cruz: Its so much fun to play a good liar

See the "Pirates" stars at Cannes

“There is always a moment when something clicks and you understand your character on a different level,” Cruz said. “You never know when that will happen. It might happen while you are preparing for the role, it might happen one month into the shooting. This role was great. It’s so much fun to play a good liar. I’m such a bad liar in real life so it’s exciting to get to do bad things and be bad.”

Cruz reserved special praise for Marshall: “Rob is like a gentleman from another era. There are no people like that anymore. He walks around and everyone he sees he comes up with something to say to them to make them feel good. He was like that after shooting for 14 hours a day for six months. He is generous and he can handle so much pressure. Iron wrapped in velvet — but the velvet is as real as that iron.”

— Geoff Boucher


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5 Responses to ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star Penélope Cruz: ‘It’s so much fun to play a good liar’

  1. Sharon says:

    Penelope Cruz is a very lucky woman!

    She is married to the GREATEST,SEXIEST actor in the world,JAVIER BARDEM! Johnny Depp has nothing on Oscar winner,Bardem! The one big thing Depp and CRUZ have in common is the need (and greed) to be big at the box office and SHE has finally done it! I wouldn’t pay 2 cents to this film,but I intend on spending $30.00 to buy JAVIER’S MOVIE “BIUTIFUL” when it comes out on DVD May 31st!

    Out of the whole bunch,JAVIER BARDEM is the only REAL TALENT! She might want to think about paying more attention to her HUSBAND now.Her need (and greed) to be a huge Hollywood star,might just turn him off!

    • Sandra says:

      Wow, what a hostile and sexist post! Not only can't you appreciate talent, but you can't spell the name of a $30 film. It's called "Beautiful." Javier has never done a thing for me. I saw No Country for Old Men and was so angry when it won an Academy Award. That film could be summed up in one scene in the film in which Tommy Lee expressed his dismay at the way of the world and his desire to get out of the law enforcement field. Two hours of torturous boredom to find out that that was the entire film? Bardem was a bore. No expression, no passion, no sweat. I could have done that role with a bad wig and a toothache. Horrendous. And I loved Fargo. The Coen brothers tapped out after that film.
      As for Cruz paying more attention to her husband? How old are you? What nationality are you? You seem to be fifty years in the past and a world away from a world in which women are not obliged to dote on their husband. They have lives outside of the home, thank God.

      • anen says:

        Okay seriously after reading your post You miss know NOTHING of Jaiver Bardem to even criticize him!!! Mind you it was Francis Ford Coppola who called Bardem a better actor than Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson and Robert de Niro

  2. EVERYONE says:


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