Penélope Cruz Named Esquire’s Sexiest Woman Alive 2014

'Sexiest' 2013
Scarlett Johansson earns second Sexiest Woman Alive title from Esquire.
'Sexiest' 2012
Mila Kunis goes topless for Esquire's Sexiest Woman Alive cover.
Penélope Cruz is every definition of sexy on the cover (and pages) of Esquire’s November 2014 issue.

The 40-year-old actress has been named the magazine’s coveted Sexiest Woman Alive.

Cruz, who succeeds the title from Scarlett Johansson, gives the magazine a rare and lengthy look into the mind behind that gorgeous face.

“I’ve played a lot of tricks on myself,” she tells Esquire. “I’ve made it hard for me sometimes, especially in my teens and twenties. I had an attraction to drama. Most of us have that, especially if you are an artist — you feel like you are tempted to explore the darkness. I could not be less interested now. For me, the most attractive, charming, cool, fun, interesting thing — how could I call it? A plan.”

Here are some other highlights:

She’s sexy and beautiful, according to the writer.

“She is impossibly beautiful. When she walks into a room, men start walking into furniture. “

“Cruz has no physical flaws, the bent noses and crooked teeth we would normally use as signifiers. Her face contains no secrets, at least not about her. But her face tells you and the room plenty about you. If you want to feel like the world’s most judged man, sit down at a table in a restaurant with the Sexiest Woman Alive.”

Girl’s got an appetite.

“She is always hungry, she says. She orders the chuletón de buey, a huge slab of bone-in rib-eye steak, seared on the outside and covered with coarse salt. When it arrives, the beef is so rare that it is crimson and gleaming in the middle. If it ever had a relationship with fire, their time together was insignificant and short. She stabs her fork into her first thick slice and cuts into it with her knife.”

She keeps her private life, private.

“She will not discuss the evolution of her relationship with [Javier] Bardem, for instance, whom she first met filming Jamón Jamón, at age seventeen, but didn’t marry until four years ago. ‘That is for us,’ she says. She declines to talk about her recent motherhood (a three-year-old son and a daughter who just turned one) except to say that family is everything to her and the reason we have not seen much of her lately.”

For much more of the interview, and more photos of the Sexiest Woman Alive, pick up the November 2014 issue of Esquire.

[All photos courtesy of Esquire/Nico]