Javier Bardem is the youngest member of a family of actors that has been making films since the early days of Spanish cinema. He got his start in the family business, at age six, when he appeared in his first feature, "El picaro" (1974) (aka The Scoundrel). During his teenage years, he acted in several TV series, played rugby for the Spanish National Team, and toured the country with an independent theatrical group. Javier's early film role as a sexy stud in the black comedy, Jamon Jamon (1992) (aka Ham Ham) propelled him to instant popularity and threatened to typecast him as nothing more than a brawny sex symbol. Determined to avert a beefcake image, he refused similar subsequent roles and has gone on to win acclaim for his ability to appear almost unrecognizable from film to film. With over 25 movies and numerous awards under his belt, it is Javier's stirring, passionate performance as the persecuted Cuban writer, Reynaldo Arenas, in Before Night Falls (2000) that will long be remembered as his breakthrough role. He received five Best Actor awards and a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his portrayal of a strong-willed man who survived censorship, imprisonment, and homosexual intolerance for the privilege to write freely, only to commit suicide at age 47 in New York, ending a battle with AIDS.IMDb Mini Biography By: Dana Spiardi/<firstname.lastname@example.org>
|Penélope Cruz||(July 2010 - present) 1 child|
Deep gruff voice
Son of Pilar Bardem
Nephew of director Juan Antonio Bardem
Grandson of Rafael Bardem
His Best Actor nomination for Before Night Falls (2000) made him the first Spanish actor to receive an Academy Award nomination and his Best Supporting Actor victory for No Country for Old Men (2007) made him the first Spanish actor to win an Academy Award.
Says in interviews that he doesn't know how to drive.
Played rugby union as a teen and was on the Spanish National Team.
Ten years ago, a stranger in a disco asked him his name. When Javier replied, the man punched him in the face for no apparent reason, breaking his nose.
Javier's original interest was in painting, and he studied at Madrid's Escuela de Artes y Oficios. Eventually, deciding he'd never be a talented painter, he drifted into a number of odd jobs, working as a bouncer, a writer, a construction worker, and even a stripper.
To portray Reinaldo Arenas, Javier not only learned Cuban-Spanish, but Cuban-accented English, and lost 30 pounds to better resemble the smaller-framed Arenas.
To become Ramón Sampedro, a 55-year-old Spanish man who made headlines with a crusade to end his own life, Javier, who was in his thirties at the time, was on the set of The Sea Inside (2004/I) at the crack of dawn for a five-hour makeup session that produced the necessary aging.
Member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005
Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#73). .
Dedicated the Oscar he won for No Country for Old Men (2007) to his mother, Pilar, whom he brought with him to the ceremony. At the end of his acceptance speech, Javier said to her (originally in Spanish), "Mom, this is for you, this is for your grandparents, for your parents, Rafael and Matilde, this is for the actors of Spain, who have brought, like you, the dignity and the pride to our job. This is for Spain and this is for all of you.".
The Bardem family owns a restaurant in Spain called "La Bardemcilla". The restaurant is managed by Javier's sister, Mónica Bardem.
Had a long relationship with Cristina Payés. They were together for ten years.
Is one of 8 actors to have won the Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Critics' Choice Award, Golden Globe Award and SAG Award for the same performance. The others in chronological order are Geoffrey Rush for Shine (1996), Jamie Foxx for Ray (2004/I), Philip Seymour Hoffman for Capote (2005), Forest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland (2006), Daniel Day-Lewis for There Will Be Blood (2007), Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight (2008), and Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds (2009).
Married long-term partner Penélope Cruz at a friend's house in the Bahamas in a small ceremony with just family members present.
Met Penélope Cruz for the first time on the set of Jamon Jamon (1992), but they wouldn't become a couple until working together in Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008). They also worked together on Live Flesh (1997), but didn't share any on-screen time.
His wife Penélope Cruz gave birth to their son Leo Encinas Bardem at the Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, California (22 January 2011).
Teamed up with The Enough Project's co-founder, John Prendergast, to raise awareness about conflict minerals in the Congo (2011).
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on November 8, 2012.
He is one of only two Academy-Award winning actors to play a primary "James Bond" villain. The other is Christopher Walken.
His wife, Penélope Cruz, is expecting their second child [February 1, 2013].
One of my dreams came true when [Julian Schnabel] showed the movie [Before Night Falls (2000)] to Al Pacino and he called me at 3 a.m. Spanish time and told me he liked my performance. I told him, "There are two things I believe in, God and Al Pacino" [Bardem has, himself, corrected this statements saying "I always said that I don't believe in God, I believe in Al Pacino"]
[on his girlfriend Cristina, who is a translator and coaching him in English] I'm in love with my English teacher. We have many of our lessons in bed.
I live in Spain. Oscars are something that are on TV Sunday night, basically, very late at night. You don't watch, you just read the news after to see who won or who lost . . . The award is important in order to bring people to the movie theater. That's the only principal meaning of any award.
We are so scared about talking about death that we are letting people die in silence. It is good to talk publicly.
It would be amazing to think your film or your performance had the power to make changes, but it's enough that it makes people talk and think. Maybe they shouldn't do anything anyway. The Church has strong feelings and we respect that.
[on his Oscar nomination for Before Night Falls (2000)] It's exhausting, almost a full-time job. Last time I found it was too much about bringing attention to yourself.
I'm proud of the fact that I got so many people to sit down and watch a story like Before Night Falls (2000) even at the expense, I felt, of some of my personal life.
[on No Country for Old Men (2007)] I think the movie speaks of a lack of meaning in violence. I embody violence, I am violence itself in the movie, and there is a man . . . who is trying to understand the meaning of it and at the end there is no meaning.
I'm getting more comfortable now, but it will never get to the point as if you are doing it in your own language. When I say, "I love you" or "I hate you" in Spanish, many things come to my mind, aspects of my own life. When I say it in English, I don't have the memories.
[on his character of Chigurh in No Country for Old Men (2007)] All the work I usually do: imagining the past, the circumstances of the character in this case I didn't do it. We all saw him as a force of nature, the embodiment of violence.
[on working with Alejandro Amenábar again] I wish I could work with him again. He's so secret. He doesn't even tell me and I go, "Give me a break, man. Give me a role." He works secretly. I guess he will be shooting soon. I hope so, because he's amazing.
All of the good movies are based on how that story was told. And you cannot do it with a bad script, that's for sure, no matter who.
What does my performance have to do with Russell Crowe's? Nothing. If I play Gladiator (2000) and we all play "Gladiator" with Ridley Scott in the same amount of time, maybe we have a chance to see who did it best.
We actors always say how difficult and physically demanding a role was. But give me a break, it's only a movie.
The only thing I can do is act, but it's not something I even feel comfortable doing. It costs me a lot, because I'm a shy person, even if I don't look it.
When the Coens called [about casting him in No Country for Old Men (2007)], I said, "Listen, I'm the wrong actor. I don't drive, I speak bad English, and I hate violence". They laughed and said, "Maybe that's why we called you".
I truly consider myself non-sexy, which is fine for me. I don't have any problem with that. Sometimes I would like to have Brad Pitt's body. But that's not something that obsesses me in a real way. And second, I truly believe that what I would like to portray on-screen or on stage are human beings, and human beings usually are not as handsome as movie stars. But most times being handsome on-screen or being handsome for real life, has to do much more with your vanity and your profound need to be liked by the rest of the people, be loved by the rest of the people.
[on his preference between playing a villain or a romantic lead] I try to taste both of them with the same intensity. If you're playing a bad guy whose mind is broken, you have to get in there and find out what triggers those feelings. And once you're on the other side, you have to take that and throw it away. Somebody said 'The difference between an artist and a person that's crazy is that the artist has a two-way ticket and the crazy person only has a one-way.
[on any concern he may have with being type-cast] I'm not worried. I always try different things. My dream would be, when I'm old, to put all my characters in a room and realize that they can't talk to each other because they don't have anything to share.
I always say "I don't believe in God, I believe in Al Pacino" - and that's true. If I ever get a phone call saying "Would you like to work with Pacino?" I would go crazy.
I like to take a year off between films. Some actors need to work for the money, but money is not a priority for me. I don't have the need for a lot of cars or houses. Since I am a tomato in the market, I have a price. They have to pay the price, but money is not my biggest priority.
(On how has fame changed his life) Mostly, it's the same. I put on a hat and dark glasses and I can walk anywhere. But there are still questions which invade your privacy. I don't really know why people need to know personal details about other people's lives. It's out of control. For a lot of people, the press is now the enemy.
Everybody in Spain is sick of me. But in America there's a curiosity about the new kid on the block who doesn't speak English very well. The attention makes me feel vulnerable, which is something I hadn't felt in a while. But I like it.
I do respect people's faith, but I don't respect their manipulation of that faith to create fear and control.
Sometimes I say to myself, 'What are you doing in this absurd job? Why don't you go to Africa and help people?' But I cannot help people because I'm a hypochondriac.
[on Biutiful (2010)] It's like a Francis Bacon painting. It's ugly. Some people can't take it. But some people can stay still, look at the picture, and see the hope, the compassion, the love behind the horror.
[on being a temporary stripper] I danced one night in a place, there was a club. And they asked for a guy to kind of make a striptease and I did it... It was for ten minutes. I needed money. My mother was there in the audience. She was so proud.
I had the amazing opportunity to meet Brad Pitt a couple of times. What a beauty. He is beautiful and his physicality is so amazing to see. But the beauty really comes from different places - the way he talks, the way he's interested in what you're saying. And that body is like - wow! It's amazing, no? He really made me feel very, like... I don't know, like, I could fall in love with him!
(October 2009) Filming Eat Pray Love (2010) in Bali, Indonesia.
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