Q&A: Penelope Cruz

Penelope Cruz stars in two new movies: "Elegy," where she falls in love with Ben Kingsley, and "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," where she kisses Scarlett Johansson. She spoke to Ramin Setoodeh.

Should we do this interview in English or Spanish?
I would ask you in which language are you going to write it. And depending on that, we'll do it in that language.

I should tell you that I don't speak Spanish.
Well, that's it!

Let's get this out of the way. What was it like kissing Scarlett?
Really, Scarlett and I have run out of lines to say about that. We're calling Woody to give us some material. People love that subject. The only thing which is honest, the set was very crowded that day. But I don't have anything else to tell you about it.

Did you have to do any research?
Very funny.

Aren't you a funny person?
In interviews, I completely lose my sense of humor. I lose at least 50 percent, if not more.

Why is that?
It's unfortunate, but I think you're obligated to do that in a way. I try to do what feels honest. We're always talking to strangers in interviews. So it would be fake to talk like you knew that person for years. So why not pay attention to what's natural, which is that the situation is not natural. And then I think it's OK to be guarded or decide what things you want to talk about.

But I always approach an interview like I'm talking to a friend.
I imagine if I was on your side, that's the best attitude to have. The whole interview, we're going to be talking about interviewing!

OK, new subject. I read that you take in stray cats. Is that true?
I have a couple, yes, that I have found in the streets.

And you keep them now?
Of course. I didn't drown them in the river.

Is it true that you have 883 tattooed on your ankle?
It is true, but I never say why.

Is it an area code?
No, and it's not a Harley-Davidson. It's not the different things that have been said.

So everyone can have a theory?
I don't think anyone cares. It's my own tattoo.

And it's your own ankle.
Uh-huh.

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