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Penélope Cruz, who plays Angelica in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, discovered that she was pregnant with her first child shortly after signing on as the lead actress for the fourth installment of Disney’s adventure fantasy film series.
Director Rob Marshall and producer Jerry Bruckheimer acknowledged that it would be a challenge for the Academy Award-winning actress to execute her role as an expectant mother.
But Marshall, who worked with Cruz on the 2009 musical-romantic film Nine, realized that her involvement in the project was of paramount importance.
“We quickly made the decision that she needed to stay, as complicated as it was to make work,” he told The Toronto Sun. “It was challenging, no question, but it was worth it.”
Cruz, who gave birth to a baby boy in January, was greatly appreciative of how helpful and protective the cast and crew were throughout the filming process.
“The reaction from them I will never forget because they did everything that was necessary to keep me there and adjust a few things and keep me always safe,” she said. “In a special time like that, that has big meaning. They are like a family to me.”
As for her on-screen reunion with Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides co-star Johnny Depp, with whom she co-starred in the 2001 biopic Blow, she gushed about having the opportunity to work with him again.
“We all know how talented he is, but he’s also so clever, so smart, and so funny,” Cruz, 37, said of Depp, 47. “And he has a very kind heart. He’s always kind to everybody. He doesn’t treat people differently because of who they are. He makes me laugh non-stop and he’s always playing tricks on me.”