Credit: Kevin Mazur/

Motherhood has changed Penelope Cruz in a major way, says Volver director Pedro Almodovar.

The 62-year-old filmmaker was honored at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC Tuesday, where he spoke to Us Weekly about how the 37-year-old actress has adjusted to life with her 11-month-old son, Leo.

"She wanted to really experience being a mother in a complete way," Almodovar said. "She sends me photos of the baby every 15 days. I see how he's growing. He has an incredibly big smile, you cannot imagine. He's beautiful, gorgeous and he's big."

Though Cruz couldn't attend Tuesday's benefit ("She's shooting in Italy," Almodovar said), "she's the most happy" she's ever been. "Better than always!"

"She's with a man who she loves," Almodovar told Us of Cruz, who tied the knot with actor Javier Bardem in 2010. "She's a really avocational mother. In all my movies she plays a mother. She always said, 'I want to be a mother.'"