Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem—both Spanish-born, both Oscar winners—have had remarkably similar career trajectories. That, plus the fact that they've been married since 2010, would've made it extremely awkward if they'd been paid different amounts for their equally starring roles in the upcoming film Everybody Knows. Luckily, it never came to that, since the duo recently revealed that they've closed the gender pay gap in their marriage.
During a press conference for the film at the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday, Vulture reports, Cruz, Bardem, and director Asghar Farhadi were asked whether Cruz and Bardem had been paid equally for the film, in which they play exes who reunite when Cruz's character's daughter is kidnapped. "Actually, yes," Cruz reportedly said, as Bardem and Farhadi nodded along in confirmation.
The couple's commitment to fair and equal treatment could be a major key to their happy marriage. As Farhadi explained at the press conference, it was the incredible strength of Cruz and Bardem's relationship that allowed them to play a much less harmonious couple in the film. "They are the very symbol of a happy couple, a loving couple," Farhadi said, according to Vulture. "It's so refreshing to see how they separate their work from their private life, and what a deep respect they have for each other."
Cruz seemed to agree with Farhadi's assessment, indicating that playing a struggling pair onscreen had no lasting effects on their marriage. "We don't take the characters home at the end of the day," she reportedly said. "Maybe I did that experiment when I 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. But I have realized that it's not really related to that, and that I have a life and then I have my job. That allows me to jump many times in one day from reality to fiction, and I love that beautiful dance back and forth."
She continued, "The fact that we know each other and trust each other so much really helps, but at the same time, this is not something that we plan on doing every two years. [To work together] would be once in a while."
Take note, everyone: If you absolutely must enter the tricky territory of working with your significant other, make sure each of you gets equal pay for equal work.