Penelope Cruz says she received equal pay to Javier Bardem for Cannes drama ‘Everybody Knows’

Hollywood has a long way to go when it comes to pay disparity, but at least that isn’t the case in the household of Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem. When asked if the husband-wife Spanish stars both received the equal paychecks for their latest movie, “Everybody Knows,” which opened the Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday, Cruz broke out a sly smile. “Actually, yes,” she said on Wednesday morning.

The Oscar-winning actress then spoke about how she works with her real-life partner, who she first collaborated with in 1992’s “Jamon Jamon.” “We don’t take the characters home at the end of the day,” Cruz said. “We have similar ways of work. The fact that we know each other and trust each other helps.” She doesn’t expect to make a habit of it. “It’s not something we plan on doing every two years,” she said. “That will be once in a while, if we feel it’s right. I don’t think it will be too often.”

Cruz admitted that she had a different approach to roles when she was younger. “When I was in my 20s, I thought the more I would torture myself and the more I would stay in character for months, the better the result would be,” Cruz said. “I learned it’s not really related to that. I have a life and I have a job. That allows me to jump from reality to fiction.”

“Everybody Knows” is the first Spanish-language film from Iranian director Asghar Farhadi (“A Separation”). He said that he met Bardem five years ago, and he worked on several drafts of the script, crediting his two leads for helping him craft a story about a woman (Cruz) who returns to her native Madrid, only to deal with a crisis where she needs the help of her ex-boyfriend (Bardem). “King Lear” helped inspired the story for its themes about fathers and daughters.

“He had a Spanish teacher,” Cruz said about her director, who she called a sponge. “Because he doesn’t sleep so much, he was memorizing all our dialogue. So you can never trick him, never fool him. He’s involved in every single thing.”

Shortly after “Everybody Knows” screened, the film sold to Focus Features for U.S. distribution.

After the press conference ended, Farhadi asked to take the microphone back. “I thought perhaps we could go on to one last point,” he said. He noted there were two Iranian films in competition at this year’s Cannes, but director Jafar Panahi couldn’t attend with his film “3 Faces” because he’s under house arrest in Iran for charges of making propaganda.

“I spoke to him yesterday,” Farhadi said. “I have great respect for his work. I continue to hope he will be able to come. I think there’s still time. I would like to send out this message. I hope the decision will be made for him to come. What’s important for him is not to catch a plane, but to see how spectators view his film, how they’ll react. It’s a very strange feeling to be able to be here, whereas he cannot be here. This is something I have difficult living with. It’s wonderful that he’s continued to work in the face of such adversity.”

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Cannes Film Festival 2018: Day 2
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Cannes Film Festival 2018: Day 2
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Tallia Storm attends the screening of 'Yomeddine' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Tallia Storm attends the screening of 'Yomeddine' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Penelope Cruz attends the photocall for 'Everybody Knows (Todos Lo Saben)' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Penelope Cruz attends the photocall for 'Everybody Knows (Todos Lo Saben)' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Actor Marion Cotillard attends the Chopard Gentleman's Evening at Hotel Martinez on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Chopard)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Actress Julianne Moore attends the screening of 'Yomeddine' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Irina Shayk attends the screening of 'Yomeddine' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Model Irina Shayk attends the screening of 'Yomeddine' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images for Kering)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Irina Shayk attends the screening of 'Yomeddine' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Actress Carey Mulligan attends the photocall for 'Wildlife' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at L'Espace Miramar on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Un Certain Regard president Benicio Del Toro attends the Jury Un Certain Regard photocall during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Venturelli/WireImage)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: The 57th Critic's Week jury member Chloe Sevigny attends the Semaine de la Critique Jury Photocall during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at L'Espace Miramar on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Actress Penelope Cruz is seen during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/GC Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Bella Hadid is seen at 'Le Majestic 'hotel during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Pierre Suu/GC Images)
Romanian model Catrinel Menghia poses as she arrives on May 9, 2018 for the screening of the film 'Yomeddine' at the 71st edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP) (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Writer/executive producer Zoe Kazan attends the photocall for 'Wildlife' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at L'Espace Miramar on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
NICE, FRANCE - MAY 09: Model Irina Shayk is seen during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Nice Airport on May 9, 2018 in Nice, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/GC Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Actress Penelope Cruz is seen during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/GC Images)
Carey Mulligan, Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan at the Wildlife party presented by Grey Goose and DIRECTV at Nikki Beach, Cannes 2018 on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Nikki Beach)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Chantel Jeffries attends the screening of 'Yomeddine' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Chantel Jeffries attends the screening of 'Yomeddine' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
NICE, FRANCE - MAY 09: Actress Amber Heard is seen during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Nice Airport on May 9, 2018 in Nice, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/GC Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Kiko Mizuhara attends the screening of 'Yomeddine' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Luke Evans attends the Chopard Gentleman's Night during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Martinez Hotel on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Venturelli/WireImage)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Actress Louise Bourgoin attends the screening of 'Yomeddine' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Venturelli/WireImage)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Wang Likun attends the screening of 'Yomeddine' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
NICE, FRANCE - MAY 09: Model Stella Maxwell is seen during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Nice Airport on May 9, 2018 in Nice, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/GC Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Leomie Anderson attends the screening of 'Yomeddine' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Actress Kristen Stewart is seen during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/GC Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Li Yuchun attends the screening of 'Yomeddine' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
NICE, FRANCE - MAY 09: Model Bella Hadid is seen during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Nice Airport on May 9, 2018 in Nice, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/GC Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Xenia Tchoumitcheva attends the screening of 'Yomeddine' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Director Paul Dano attends the photocall for 'Wildlife' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at L'Espace Miramar on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Kiko Mizuhara attends the screening of 'Yomeddine' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images for Kering)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Director A.B. Shawky (Abu Bakr) (L) and and producer Elisabeth Shawky-Arneitz attend the screening of 'Yomeddine' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Dominique Charriau/WireImage)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Actress Shahira Fahmy attends the screening of 'Yomeddine' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Gisela Schober/Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Actor Christoph Waltz and Artistic Director and Co-President of Chopard Caroline Scheufele attends the screening of 'Yomeddine' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Dominique Charriau/WireImage)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Juliette Armanet attends the screening of 'Yomeddine' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Venturelli/WireImage)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Actor Javier Bardem and actress Penelope Cruz, wearing jewels by Atelier Swarovski Fine Jewelry, attend the photocall for 'Everybody Knows (Todos Lo Saben)' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Venturelli/WireImage)
NICE, FRANCE - MAY 09: Actress Jessica Chastain is seen during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Nice Airport on May 9, 2018 in Nice, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/GC Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Actress Araya Hargate poses on the Croisette during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Target Presse Agentur Gmbh/GC Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 09: Marie Parie attends the screening of 'Yomeddine' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
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