Actress Penelope Cruz has already recovered from her high-profile split with movie hunk TOM CRUISE - because she's too determined to excel in Hollywood and "embrace life" to worry about the past.

GOTHIKA star Cruz, 29, is optimistic about life without The Last Samurai actor by her side, and insists it's in her nature to focus on future challenges rather than dwell on her failed romances.

Currently in Morocco filming upcoming movie SAHARA, Cruz explains, "This is a new time for me, a time for maturity mixed with fresh and exciting things.

"There's no point in thinking about the past. I've much to look forward to.

"I've learned a lot in my 20s and have been through things I could never have expected.

"I want to travel and learn. I feel I can go anywhere and do anything.

"My family always told me to embrace life, and that is what I am doing."

02/04/2004 13:19