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05/20/2011 by Olivia Allin

Penelope Cruz is best known for fiery roles in independent movies like "Blow," "Vanilla Sky" and "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," but she couldn't resist going big in "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides."

"This is the biggest movie I have done and it was interesting to really pay attention to how these movies get made," Cruz told OnTheRedCarpet.com. "It's a great privilege because not a lot of these movies are made anymore, just a few and maybe it's going to be less and less and I love that I got to be a part of one ... It doesn't matter [how big the movie is] - I approach it the same way."

In the film, Johnny Depp is back to reprise his role as Captain Jack Sparrow and in this installment, Jack crosses paths with Angelica (Cruz), a woman who he slighted in the past and they agree to help each other to find the fabled Fountain of Youth. When she forces him aboard the Queen Anne's Revenge, a ship belonging to the most dangerous pirate alive, Blackbeard (Ian McShane), Jack is not sure who to worry about more - Blackbeard or Angelica.

Cruz was especially excited to play a pirate in the film rather than a damsel in distress, but the actress says that she was neither a princess or a tomboy when she was little.

"I was everything," Cruz said. "I think I was already an actress when I was four or five and I woke up with a different personality every day."

Cruz has been romantically linked to her "Vanilla Sky" co-star Tom Cruise and her "Sahara" co-star Matthew McConaughey. The actress began dating her "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" co-star Javier Bardem in 2007 and they got married in 2010. They welcomed their first child, son Leo Encinas Bardem, in January. Cruz isn't too worried about balancing her work and motherhood, but admits she might slow down a bit.

"I think you learn day by day, but in the last few years, I haven't been working non-stop," Cruz told OnTheRedCarpet.com. "I do one or sometimes two movies a year but now it's maybe going to be even less, so I will try to choose well and have a good balance."

Watch a trailer for "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" below.

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