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May 29, 2024

Penelope Cruz Opens Up About Childhood Trauma That Left Her with a Lifelong Fear of Driving

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Jan 18, 2024

Penelope Cruz has revealed that a tragic accident from her childhood has given her a lasting fear of driving cars. In a rare personal interview, the acclaimed actress opened up about the emotional trauma surrounding her sister getting hit by a vehicle when they were young.

Childhood Incident Sparks Phobia

Speaking to Metro UK, Cruz recounted the horror she felt as a young girl watching her sister get struck by a car just steps away from her. Though her sister ultimately recovered, Cruz said the moment left her with post-traumatic stress that has kept her from ever feeling comfortable behind the wheel.

“I saw her flying through the air after the car hit her when we were playing outside our house. I was maybe six years old and she was around nine,” Cruz recalled. “It was the most horrific moment of my life.”

The 49-year-old said that even today, she relies on drivers and her husband Javier Bardem to transport her places instead of driving herself.

“I still have visions of her lying in the road,” Cruz said. “I have never sat behind a wheel again.”

Lingering Effects on Family Life

In the interview, Cruz also touched on how the driving phobia has impacted her family life with Bardem and their two children, Leo and Luna.

She explained that when the family needs to travel places by car, “My husband or a driver has always taken us everywhere.” Cruz relies heavily on her husband and drivers for all automobile transportation rather than facing her fears to drive them herself.

When asked if she lets her kids ride in cars often considering her own aversion, Cruz said:

“Of course they ride in cars all the time. I would never deprive them of that freedom of movement even though it still scares me after what happened to my sister María.”

Protecting Kids’ Privacy and Phones

In addition to discussing her fear of driving, Cruz also revealed to Entertainment Tonight that she and Bardem have made a point to keep their young children away from cell phones and social media in order to give them privacy.

“They don’t have a phone yet,” said Cruz of 10-year-old Leo and 12-year-old Luna. “We talk a lot about it, because we understand that we have to start to prepare them.”

Cruz’s stance stems partially from wanting to preserve some normalcy for her kids, even with famous parents. “I want them to grow in the most healthy and normal possible way,” Cruz remarked.

She is also highly cognizant of protecting her children’s privacy and wellbeing at their young ages. “They’re going to start to discover things out there, and it’s really important for me to protect them,” Cruz emphasized.

Age Name
12 years old Luna Bardem Cruz
10 years old Leo Bardem Cruz

What’s Next for Cruz?

Looking ahead, Cruz shows no signs of slowing down her acclaimed acting career. She recently starred in the 2023 film L’immensità which earned her a Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival last year. She has earned three Academy Award nominations over her decades-long career in addition to her recent win in Venice.

When asked about aging in Hollywood, Cruz told Just Jared:

“Getting older is something I welcome happily because it’s a privilege denied to too many women who have passed away too young.”

Rather than worry about her changing looks or industry expectations around age, Cruz said she is simply “enjoying every phase” of her life from childhood to now.

Despite lingering emotional trauma from seeing her sister’s accident, Cruz has clearly overcome her driving phobia enough to still participate fully in an acclaimed acting career that requires some travel. And with a supportive family life anchored by husband Javier Bardem, Cruz seems fulfilled both personally and professionally even while avoiding getting behind the wheel herself. Her children may face decisions about driving someday considering their mother’s fears, but Cruz emphasizes the importance of not depriving them of freedoms and normal childhood experiences.

As Cruz heads towards 50 still at the apex of the film world, all signs point to her continuing her brilliant career without slowing down anytime soon. She has a maturity and wisdom around prioritizing life’s simple joys rather than physical appearance or stigmas. And Cruz still captivates audiences on screen after so many memorable roles – phobias, trauma and all. Don’t expect her to throw on a chauffeur’s hat, but do anticipate many more moving performances to come.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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