• accompanied, not only by Mónica (and her baby), but also by their mother. “My priority is my family,” she says with passion. “That is the way I have been raised.”

    Born in Madrid in 1974 to working-class parents, Cruz grew up in a household full of love and freedom. On Sundays, the entire family (Cruz also has a younger brother, Eduardo Jnr) would clean the house while listening to opera at full volume. One day, her father brought home
    a Betamax video player. “I would rent these huge tapes and watch them over and over again,” Cruz once recalled. At 15, she had an epiphany when she saw Pedro Almodóvar’s Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (lying about her age to get into the movie theater). She decided she would do everything she could to become an actress. By the time she was 17, she had been cast in Jamón, Jamón. “I’m a very determined person!” she laughs.

    Despite the exhaustion, Cruz
    feels she is at a very fulfilled time in her life. “Every day I appreciate

    “Every day I appreciate the PEOPLE I have in my life, the HEALTH that keeps me going”

    the people I have in my life, the job I am paid to do, the food I have on my plate, and the health that
    keeps me going,” she says. Age doesn’t frighten her, because she has “so much to look forward to”; working – inevitably – with Almodóvar again, taking a role in the theater, immersing herself in her family, feeding her passions for eating well and singing karaoke, and spending some of her hard-
    earned money on beautiful things (“I love buying clothes – especially on NET-A-PORTER – although it’s dangerous, as I get addicted!”)

    Tiredness seems a small price to pay. “Hey,” she shrugs. “I love to sleep, so tonight I will go to bed at nine o'clock and be very happy.”

    Dress and pumps by Oscar de la Renta; earrings by Dolce & Gabbana


    Styling: Jo Schlenzka at Jed Root. Art direction: Jon Wetherell. Hair: Pablo Iglesias at Talents. Makeup: Charlotte Tilbury at Art Partner. Nails: Trish Lomax at Premier. Fashion assistant: Helen Broadfoot. With thanks to Mandarin Oriental

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