December 25, 2006 -- PENELOPE Cruz knows why those lesbian rumors refuse to die. When she and pal Salma Hayek were promoting "Bandidas" this year, "I grabbed Salma's a - - just to keep things moving, because everyone was a little slow," Cruz told reporters while promoting "Volver." "And, of course, the energy changed when I did that." Speculation in Hayek's native Mexico is rampant. "A lot of people were saying we were lovers," she said. Cruz fueled the fire when she was asked, after kissing Matthew McConaughey in "Sahara," to name her best screen kiss. "Can I say Charlize Theron?" she cooed of her "Head in the Clouds" co-star. "Yes. Charlize, Charlize, Charlize."
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