With her baby in her arms, Penélope Cruz has arrived in Rome. The Spanish actress has made the return to work after spending nearly a year on maternity leave, with her first-born child now six months old. "I'm happy to be here," the actress said on arrival in the Italian capital, adding: "And to be filming with Woody Allen." As she should be, given that much of her current happiness is owed to the New York director.
Thanks to the call from Allen, Cruz was reunited with former boyfriend Javier Bardem in 2008 on the set of Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and since then the two have not been apart. This month, the pair will be celebrating their first anniversary ? although the exact date of their wedding is still unknown, as indeed are the details of the ceremony. A statement released on July 14 of last year announced their wedding in the Bahamas, but never revealed the day on which it had taken place. The same happened with the birth of little Leo in January.
Babysitting on set
Cruz looks set to follow the example set by other actresses in Hollywood, and stay close to her baby, who she will be taking from shoot to shoot from now on. This time Bardem will be in Rome just to visit, given that he is not appearing in the latest Woody Allen production.
In the new film from the American director, which has the working title of Bop Decameron, Italian actors Antonio Albanese and Riccardo Scamarcio will appear, as will Hollywood stars Alec Baldwin and Jesse Eisenberg, star of Facebook movie The Social Network.
Allen has already spent two weeks in Rome scouting out places to shoot. The director has said that he wants to convert the city into a huge film set, with as many as 69 different locations. "Rome is the most romantic city in the world, above New York or Barcelona," said Allen.
Shooting outside of his beloved New York is becoming a habit for the legendary director. In 2008 he came to the Catalan capital for Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and last year he went to the banks of the Seine to film Midnight in Paris, where the guest of honor was the French first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.