Oscar winner Penélope Cruz may be known for her incredible skills, as she is one of the most talented stars out there, but growing up there was something she always wanted to be more than an actor: a mother.

The 44-year-old sat down with The Telegraph to speak about many things, including her desire to always be a mom. “I wanted to be a mother since I was a little girl,” the Vanilla Sky costar said. “I always asked Santa Claus to bring me fake babies, and I’ve always played the character of a mother.” She continued, “But even if you think you know what it’s going to be, it’s so amazing what happens when you see your kid for the first time: you then see the world differently for the rest of your life, because you’re always going to think about somebody else first.”

Penélope, who married fellow actor Javier Bardem in 2010 after dating for three years, has two kids: 8-year-old Leo, and 5-year-old Luna. The pair decided to raise their little ones in Madrid, away from the chaos of big American cities. The Spanish actress explained to the outlet, “Here is where the family is, it makes sense. I love New York but it’s too hectic for children, and too hot, too cold, too busy… I loved LA when I was single, but it’s too focused on the industry — it’s not the ideal place to raise children.”

Javier Bardem Penelope Cruz
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She added, “I like London a lot. I wouldn’t have a problem living there. The only thing that is difficult is the weather. I know I’m not saying anything new, but for Spanish people, it’s hard.” Madrid also works for the Hollywood couple because they are not recognized as often. “It’s very easy to do the normal things you need to, and I don’t want to give that up.”

And yet Leo and Luna only see the pair as their parents, not as two famous people as the actress doesn’t believe her children get that their folks are known worldwide. “I’m not sure if they understand the concept, but we deal with that in a natural way,” the Vicky Cristina Barcelona star said. “I explain, for instance, that maybe that person [who may have recognized them] has seen a movie [we were in].”