Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz kept their personal and professional lives totally separate while filming 'Loving Pablo'.
The couple - who are married in real life - play drug lord Pablo Escobar and journalist Virginia Vallejo in 'Loving Pablo' and Javier revealed they were careful not to bring the dark subject material home with them after a day on set.
Speaking to E! News, Javier said: "One of the joys, and the fun of what we do, is to create. We were very careful [during shooting] to make sure we kept that joy and that we keep being able to create and use our imagination."
Explaining that he and Penelope - who previously worked together on 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona' - kept their on and off-screen relationships totally separate, Javier added: "In this movie I think both of us learned more than ever to do that, because it was necessary for us to be able to get back to ourselves. To go back home and have a life. And actually it was easy. It was fun and I think we both made a little step towards growing up as performers because instead of stepping around things we really went there. We protected ourselves by being the characters, not by bringing them to us."
The new movie is based on a book Virginia wrote about falling for the criminal and Javier welcomed the chance to show a human side to Escobar.
He said: "Thanks to all the documentaries and films, we know more about Pablo now than we ever have before. When I started to dig into this character almost 10 years ago, he wasn't as much in the public eye. I was attracted to this movie because it's about what's in his mind, how he could have that greed when he basically had it all.
"I wanted to portray a real Pablo Escobar, because that's the scary part. He was a human being, he was not a machine, he was not an idea, he was a person.
"It's very different than playing a psychopath. For example, Anton Chigurh in 'No Country for Old Men', he's a psychopath. He's not at all interested in any emotion, and that makes him very, very scary and dangerous. But I think the person who feels empathy, the person who feels love and at the same time does those bad things, is even scarier and even more dangerous."