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Penélope Cruz Reveals Her Kids, 10 and 12, Don't Have Cell Phones: 'It's a Cruel Experiment on Children'

The actress is firm in her beliefs that social media and screen time are not the best choice for developing minds

<p>Photography by Zoey Grossman</p> Penélope Cruz

Photography by Zoey Grossman

Penélope Cruz

Penélope Cruz is very protective of her children.

The Ferrari actress, 49, appears on the cover of ELLE's February 2024 issue, where she opens up about her life as a mom to daughter Luna, 10, and son Leo, 12, both of whom she shares with Javier Bardem.

Cruz explains that she's always been dedicated to making sure that if her children ever want to step into the spotlight, it's on their own time and on their own terms.

"It’s for them to decide if they are going to have a job that is more exposed to the public or not. They can talk about that when they’re ready," she says.

The mom of two also admits that she doesn't allow her two kids to have phones, explaining, "It’s so easy to be manipulated, especially if you have a brain that is still forming."

"And who pays the price? Not us, not our generation, who, maybe at 25, learned how a BlackBerry worked," she continues. "It’s a cruel experiment on children, on teenagers.”

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<p>Photography by Zoey Grossman</p> Penélope Cruz

Photography by Zoey Grossman

Penélope Cruz

Related: Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem's 2 Children: All About Leo and Luna

Elsewhere in the interview, Cruz talks about how she played roles where she portrayed a mother far before she was one and that motherhood still rings through many of the roles available to her.

"At my age, 80 percent of the characters that I play will be about motherhood or divorce or abandonment or characters who didn’t want to have children or couldn’t or who lost children. I’ve played mothers since I was very young," she says.

Cruz credits Spanish filmmaker and frequent collaborator Pedro Almodóvar because he "always saw me as a mother."

"We have known each other since I was 17. He would watch me going to talk to strangers just to see their babies. He always saw that strong, inevitable instinct in me, and I saw him see it," she adds.

"But also, ever since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted kids. But I knew I wanted them older. I wanted to wait until I felt I was ready. I was sure it would be the most important thing I would do in my life."

<p>Photography by Zoey Grossman</p> Penélope Cruz

Photography by Zoey Grossman

Penélope Cruz

During an interview with Rita Braver of CBS Sunday Morning in December 2021, Cruz suggested she might not be ready for her kids to join social media until they turn 16.

"There is no protection for them, for brains that are still developing and how that affects the way they see themselves, how everything related to bullying, so many things that are not the childhood that we had," she said.

"I really see that that is protecting mental health, but I seem to be part of a minority," Cruz concluded.

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