Penelope Cruz And Javier Bardem's Relationship Timeline, Starting From Their First Film in 1992

The gorgeous Spanish couple has been one of the most beloved Hollywood duos for years but have always kept their relationship and family fairly private. Here's a timeline of their romance.

By Gina Florio4 min read
Getty/Pascal Le Segretain

At the Cannes Film Festival in 2018, Javier Bardem was on a panel to discuss the film Everybody Knows, a thriller about a family returning to Spain for a wedding, which turns into a frightening web of mysteries when their daughter is suddenly kidnapped. The thriller also stars Penelope Cruz, who has been Bardem's wife since 2010. In a clip that has gone viral once again recently, a journalist requested Bardem's attention on the panel. In Spanish, he asks, "Javier, how do you feel being the only man in the world who enjoys working with his wife?" A few laughs scatter across the room awkwardly.

Bardem shakes his head and responds, "The question is of an extremely bad taste." He looks back up at the journalist and gives him a half smile as the room claps in support. Cruz and Bardem have been working together in the world of film for decades. While many people think they first met on the set of Vicky Cristina Barcelona, that's not exactly how it happened. Here's a timeline of one of Hollywood's most beloved couples, including how they met, when they got married, and how they have grown their family over the years.

Jamón Jamón, 1992

Cruz was only 16 years old when she played the lead role in Jamón Jamón, a Spanish film about a young man whose mother disapproves of his fianceé (Cruz), who is pregnant with his child. The mother elicits Bardem's character to take the girl's mind off her son. Bardem, five years her senior, later said in an interview that the two had immediate chemistry. He told GQ UK that the movie was "like a document of our passion." One day, he plans to show the movie to his kids and tell them that this is where their romance initially began.

"It was a very sexy film. It still is. Penélope’s parents were brave to allow her to do that film – if my daughter at 16 came to me with a script like that I’d have said no f***ing way!” he added.

That was the start of Cruz's career, but nothing happened at the time between her and Bardem. Years later, they reconnected on another movie set.

Rumors Fly in 2007

The pair worked together again in 2007 while filming Woody Allen's award-winning film Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Scarlett Johansson and Rebecca Hall played the lead roles of two friends traveling to Barcelona for a summer, where they find themselves in a web of romance. Johansson's character falls into a relationship with Bardem's character, and that's where Cruz comes in as the ex-girlfriend who attempted suicide. Cruz ended up winning an Academy Award for her performance in the movie.

After they concluded their time on set, they sparked rumors of a romance. They were seen holding hands, exchanging kisses, and frolicking on the beach in the Maldives. But Bardem later revealed in the same GQ UK interview that they were shy to start a relationship even after Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

"Neither of us would make the first move," he said. "I don’t know if we were shy or trying to be too professional. Anyway, it got to the very last day of filming, and nothing had happened. So I thought, ‘F***! We better get drunk!’ Luckily, a friend of ours threw a wrap party, and, well, the rest is history. Thank God!”

Secretly Married, 2010

Throughout the first half of 2010, they were spotted at Lakers games in LA, the red carpet for the first time as an official couple, and the Cannes Film Festival. When Bardem won an award for his role in Biutiful, he thanked Cruz: "I share this joy with my friend, my companion, my love: Penelope. I owe you a lot, and I love you so much."

They got married privately at a friend's house in the Bahamas in July 2010, and later that year, Cruz was visibly pregnant with their first child. Their son Leo was born in January 2011.

Family Life and Stardom, 2012-2013

Cruz and Bardem worked on another film together, The Counselor, directed by Ridley Scott. This year was also a big step forward for Bardem's career; he starred as the villain in Skyfall. The two still attended red carpets and press events together, and in September, Bardem said he was "happily married" and at peace with his life. He also gushed about his son and how much fatherhood had opened up his eyes to the world.

In February 2013, Cruz confirmed to Spanish TV that she was pregnant with their second child. Five months later, they welcomed Luna into the world. In October, she was seen in the public eye for the first time since her daughter's birth as they promoted The Counselor.

Still in the Spotlight, 2017-2018

The couple was seen together, clearly still happily married, at the Cesar Film Awards, Goya Awards, Venice Film Festival, and more. Their fourth film, Loving Pablo, premiered at the 74th Venice Film Festival in 2017; Bardem plays the famous Pablo Escobar and Cruz plays journalist Virginia Vallejo. They had to film scenes that featured abuse and mistreatment, but Bardem said in an interview that they never take the characters home with them.

“I think whatever you do in your daily life, whatever job you're lucky to have a job, first of all. You bring it home," he said. "You have a bad day in your profession, you will go back home, and you will be touched or moved by how the day went for better or worse. It is the same for any actor, but the important thing is to know that there’s a division, clear division, between fiction and reality. In other words, we know that what is going on there is all fiction-related … There is nothing there that has anything to do with who we are as real people."

Bardem and Cruz made it clear that they love working together while also being married and raising their children. In 2018, they premiered their fifth movie together, Everybody Knows.

Public Displays of Affection, 2021-2022

Although the couple is often seen in public and on the red carpet, they aren't usually keen on showing signs of affection or showing their children. But in 2021, at the Venice International Film Festival, Cruz kissed Bardem as she was awarded Best Actress for her role in Parallel Mothers.

In 2022, Bardem starred in the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid as King Triton, a role that he sang for. Cruz said she would love to do a musical one day with her husband, as he also sang for his role in The Ricardos.

In his acceptance speech for Best Actor at the 2022 Goya Awards, Bardem thanked his wife:  "I want to dedicate this award to Penélope, who is the woman I love, respect, admire and celebrate every day." This was also the year that both actors were given Oscar nominations, Bardem for The Ricardos and Cruz for Parallel Mothers. They attended the 2022 Academy Awards in matching black ensembles, looking as radiant and happy as ever. The two will very likely continue to make more movies together in the future.

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