Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem return to Venice festival

Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz

:: Back when he was 22 and she was 16, Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz brought their movie “Jamon, Jamon” to the Venice International Film Festival.

Now, a quarter of a century and two children later, they were back with another project, “Loving Pablo,” their first film together as a real-life couple.

“It is interesting that we are back with a movie together exactly 25 years later and it feels like time has flown, there are so many things happened in between but it also feels like it was yesterday. Very strange,” said Cruz, who married Bardem in 2010.

“Loving Pablo” tells the story of notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar and his unlikely lover, TV journalist Virginia Vallejo. Despite the wealth, the glitz and the glamor, the affair becomes the undoing of Vallejo.

Cruz admitted that Bardem captured Escobar perhaps too well. “I felt like I could not wait for the last day of shooting when I do not have to hear him or see him as this character as it was starting to be really disturbing for me,” she said.

Bardem said it was a challenge not to take their characters home and “get back to our lives, which is way more important and more interesting than their lives.”

Working together on “Loving Pablo” seems to have gone well. Bardem and Cruz have already started shooting director Asghar Farhadi’s next film together.

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