The 44-year-old actress discussed her working relationship with Bardem while attending a Cannes International Film Festival news conference Wednesday for their movie Everybody Knows.
Cruz and Bardem have collaborated on a number of prior movies, including Vicky Cristina Barcelona and The Counselor. Cruz said she's learned the value of setting boundaries between her on-screen and personal lives.
"When I was younger, in my 20s, I thought the more I would torture myself and the more I would stay in character for months, the better I would be... but then I realized that [torture] is not related to [performance], that I have a life and a job," the actress said, according to Vanity Fair.
"That allows me to jump many times in one day from reality to fiction, and I love that beautiful dance back and forth," she added. "The fact that [Javier and I] lean on each other and trust each other so much really helps, but this is not something that we plan on doing every two years ... just once in a while, if it feels right."
Cruz and Bardem were all smiles as they posed for photos together on the red carpet. The couple married in July 2010, and have two children, 7-year-old son Leo and 4-year-old daughter Luna.
"I've only been away from my kids for a day and a half in almost seven years. I've had to do that three times, and I'm hoping it can stay that way," Cruz said in the October issue of Interview. "When I'm not working, I'm taking time to be a mother."