December 05, 2001 01:20 PM

And now it’s Penelope Cruz’s time to speak up. The occasion was last weekend’s press junket to promote her new movie, director Cameron Crowe’s “Vanilla Sky,” in which Cruz stars with boyfriend Tom Cruise. Not surprisingly, reports PEOPLE, the topic of discussion very quickly turned to him — though the Spanish actress didn’t spill much. Although she had seen Cruise’s movies before, she said, “I didn’t know Tom when Cameron offered me the movie. But the two of them together had analyzed everything I had done.” Cruz, 27, said that working with Cruise, 39, was “a very, very good experience.” Was it very, very difficult doing love scenes with him? “No more or less than any of the other scenes,” she said. Does she think that there is such a thing as natural chemistry between two people, and does that make a scene in a movie better? “It’s something that can be acted,” she replied. “I’ve seen scenes with other people where they didn’t have good chemistry in the beginning, or not an especially good one, and it can be acted. Everything can be acted. But it’s true that when you have a good relationship with the people you work with — not only the actor you have to do a love scene with but with everyone you are working with — when that is there, it’s better for the work of each person. Not only for the day that you have to do a scene where you say, ‘I love you.’ “

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