Academy Award-winning actress Penelope Cruz was still a teenager when she made her feature film debut in Jamón Jamón, a Spanish sex comedy. (Javier Bardem, her future husband, costarred in the 1992 movie—although they didn’t get together for another sixteen years.) Cruz did her first nude scene for her role as the small-town girl Silvia, and she has no regrets about getting naked on screen.

In a new interview with Esquire UK, she says, “I knew the script was good. I knew there was something very unique there. Even if I had not seen many scripts before, it was so clear, it was so brave, so refreshing. And yes, it was very sexy.”

Cruz admits she didn’t look forward to shooting the nude scenes, but said, “Everyone was really respectful, aware of the fact that I was 18.” In fact, she may have been even younger. The actress recently had a conversation with her friend Gwyneth Paltrow for Interview magazine, in which Paltrow asks if it’s true Cruz was only 17 when she made Jamón Jamón. Cruz says, “I think I was, but I was lying so much about my age that I can’t be sure.”

Cruz pretended to be older in order to get an agent when she was 15, and she still believes talking about age is a waste of time. She told Paltrow that she’s sick of journalists asking her if she’s afraid of aging, and said, “When it comes to talking about aging as an actress, I feel like, ‘What the fuck? I’m not going to give you even two minutes to honor your question. It doesn’t deserve that.’

Cruz looks ageless in the glamorous photos by Christian MacDonald that accompany the Interview piece:

Instead of something as irrelevant as her age, she would rather discuss her passion for acting. She told Esquire UK that she is fascinated by human behavior, and said, “It doesn’t matter if you have become famous, well-known, if people look at you in the streets. You have to stay the one that is allowed to be the observer. Otherwise, as an actor, you are dead.”

@interviewmag @christian_macdonald_studio

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Audiences will have plenty of opportunities to observe Cruz on screen in the next year or so. She plays a journalist who falls in love with a drug lord (played by her husband, Javier Bardem) in the new movie Loving Pablo, and she’s part of the star-studded cast for Murder on the Orient Express, which opens next month. She also stars as Donatella Versace in the highly-anticipated FX series The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.

In the meantime, you can also see more of her on Instagram:

Thank you @interviewmag @christian_macdonald_studio

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Thank you #atelierswarovski #swarovski #venicefilmfestival #lovingpablo

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Versace on the floor! #versaceatelier #venicefilmfestival

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