Penelope Cruz Looking Forward to Growing Older

Spanish actress Penelope Cruz is looking forward to getting older, and she won't entertain discussions over whether her looks pose a career problem.

Cruz, 33, appeared Sunday at the Berlin film festival to promote fellow Spaniard Isabel Coixet's "Elegy," in which Cruz stars as Consuela — a student who embarks on an affair with a much older professor, played by Ben Kingsley, 64.

Asked at a news conference whether she thought about aging herself, Cruz replied: "I'm looking forward to (it) ... I want to experience things; I'm looking forward to having backaches and using that in my work."

Cruz swatted aside a query about whether she felt her looks made it harder to be taken seriously, saying she had "plenty of offers for roles that have nothing to do with any of that."

"I think you also have to be pretty egocentric to think that you have that problem," added Cruz, who was nominated for a best-actress Oscar for her role in Pedro Almodovar's "Volver" last year. "I don't engage in that debate because I am allergic to it."

"Elegy" is based on a short novel by American writer Philip Roth, "A Dying Animal." Coixet said she discussed the project extensively with the author, although he did not read the script.

"I was obsessed with the book ... I am a very big fan of Philip Roth," Cruz said. "For many years, I've been thinking about Consuela and hoping we would get to make the movie."

"Elegy," which also starts Dennis Hopper in a supporting role, is one of 21 movies competing for the annual Berlin festival's top Golden Bear award.