It all boils down to personal autonomy. Actress Penélope Cruz made the decision, at some point years ago, to pursue a career that brought her into the public eye. It has been a career that has landed her in the likes of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and the miniseries The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. It has earned her a handful of awards—an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award among them—and a whole host of nominations.
But it comes with a exposure to public opinion—good and bad. And it’s a decision that she doesn’t consider lightly. It’s, in part, for that reason that the 49-year-old and mom of two doesn’t allow her two pre-teen boys to have cell phones. In a recent interview with ELLE, she broke down her now uncommon parenting decision.
She doesn’t want them to be in the public eye until they are old enough to decide to pursue it for themselves. “It’s for them to decide if they are going to have a job that is more exposed to the public or not,” she explained in the interview. “They can talk about that when they’re ready.” So, no social media. But the no phones rule runs along the same lines.
Cruz recognizes phones as a threat, more or less, to the developing mind. “It’s so easy to be manipulated, especially if you have a brain that is still forming,” she remarked. “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.”
Understandably, she wants to protect her children. Admirably, she wants to give them the chance to be children and to decide later—when they’re old enough to do so—what path to follow.