Movie star, international symbol of beauty, and muse to many, from Pedro Almodóvar to Woody Allen, Penélope Cruz is definitely one of Hollywood’s most talented and hottest actresses. Now, Penélope graces the May 2012 cover of Harper’s Bazaar magazine. In the accompanying interview, the 38-year-old starlet dishes on shooting ‘To Rome with Love’ after having Leonardo, motherhood and priorities, living in L.A., fashion, her actress idol, and what she would do if she were invisible for a day. “I would go to one of those [legendary talent agency] CAA meetings that they have on Monday and see all the things that they have to say about us actors. Ooh, to be a fly on the wall,” she says.

On working with Woody Allen for his movie ‘To Rome with Love,’ Penélope confesses that, “I love being around Woody. Watching him direct, and sometimes, he falls asleep while they are lighting the next shot. I take pictures of him because he picks the strangest positions. I always think he is going to fall off his chair.” However, it seems that she loves him the most when he’s awake. “That whole shoot I laughed so hard,” Cruz says.

Since becoming a mother, the actress has completed only one other film called ‘Twice Born’, a drama about a single mother raising a teenage son in Sarajevo. “Maybe I’ll make one movie a year, maybe two, but it’s not going to be more than that because I have other priorities now,” she told Harper’s Bazaar.

Penélope Cruz Covers Harper Penélope Cruz Covers Harper

Penélope and her husband, Spanish actor Javier Bardem, with little Leonardo, travel regularly between Madrid and Los Angeles.

On L.A., the actress says that, “When I come here now, I have so many memories. Some of them good, some of them not so good. I have lived beautiful moments here, but I don’t want to live here. It is not the place where I want to raise my kids.” When asked about Leonardo, the actress admits that, “I talk about him all day long, even to strangers in the street; it is my favorite subject! But, you know; this is my job.”

Speaking about her role as the face of Lancôme’s Trésor, Cruz says that, “It was actually my first perfume. It’s a real history, real memories that are related to this scent. It’s funny, after over 20 years….” On working with the brand, she adds that, “You arrive in this Lancôme world, and everything is full of white flowers, and everything smells good. You feel like you are walking on clouds, and then, you go home.”

We know her as a great actress, but how would her family and friends describe her? “Stubborn. Even my mother would say that as the first word!” As for her, she would depict herself as “persistent. It is my best friend and my worst enemy. And I don’t just mean fighting for something related to work; it could be anything. I have a strong personality, and I say what I think. I think I’ve been better about being a little more flexible.”

She also characterizes herself as a “worrier. I am living for every day and trying to have less fear, less worry. But I have always worried about everything; it’s in my nature. It’s the thing that makes me suffer the most.”

Read Penélope’s complete interview in the May 2012 issue of Harper’s Bazaar.

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Penélope Cruz Covers Harper

Photos courtesy of Harper’s Bazaar