Penelope Cruz reveals why her children don’t have their own cell phones

Penelope Cruz has shared some rare insight into her family life, with the actor revealing why her two children don’t have their own cell phones.

The 49-year-old actor spoke candidly about her parenting habits during a recent interview with Elle, as she appeared on the cover of the magazine’s February issue. Cruz and her husband of nearly 14 years, Javier Bardem, are currently raising two children together: Leo, 12, and Luna, 10.

Speaking to Elle, Cruz revealed that, in addition to having zero social media accounts, her children also “don’t even have phones”. She specified why she wants her children to avoid using technology, as they are in the midst of growing up.

“It’s so easy to be manipulated, especially if you have a brain that is still forming,” she said. “And who pays the price? Not us, not our generation, who, maybe at 25, learned how a BlackBerry worked. It’s a cruel experiment on children, on teenagers.”

The Ferrari star then added that her children don’t necessarily need social media to be entertained, since their father does some amusing impressions of fellow celebrities.

“He sings and he’s a great dancer. And he does this amazing impression of Mick Jagger,” Cruz added. “He’ll imitate Al Pacino and De Niro talking to each other. It’s incredible.”

She also opened up about keeping her children out of the public eye, with Elle noting that she refused to confirm or deny if they’re considering careers in the entertainment industry, like their mother. Cruz acknowledged that as her children get older, it’s their choice if they want to publicly discuss their careers or not.

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

This isn’t the first time that the Pirates of the Caribbean star has shared her thoughts about her children using the internet. During an appearance on CBS Mornings in 2021, Cruz first opened up about her “strange relationship with social media,” and her belief that different online platforms can negatively affect teenagers.

“I use very little of it in a very careful way,” she said. “There is something that is not making sense and it’s especially affecting younger generations. I feel really bad for the ones that are teenagers now. It’s almost like if the world was doing some kind of experiment on them. ‘Oh, let’s see what happens if you expose a 12-year-old to that much technology.’”

She then acknowledged that she’s “very tough with technology” usage for her children, before describing the points where they use electronic devices together.

“We can watch movies sometimes or some cartoons. How can I not let them watch movies?” she said. “That has been some incredible moments of happiness since I was a little girl.”

Cruz also expressed that she’s not allowing her children to have phones “until they are much older,” before adding: “No social media until at least 16.”

Elsewhere in her interview with Elle, she also opened up about working with her friend, Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, noting that he “always saw [her] 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 said.

The Vanilla Sky star then acknowledged that despite her friend’s praise, she still knew from when she was young that she wanted to have children.

“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,” Cruz explained. “I was sure it would be the most important thing I would do in my life.”