Javier Bardem mugged for the camera with the help of a paintbrush for a photo shoot in the Fall 2008 Men's Fashion Issue of T Magazine. Almost one year after his award-winning role in No Country For Old Men, Javier is still one of Hollywood's hottest, even though he's admittedly too lazy to do more than one or two movies a year. In the article, he talks about his latest film and how his life has changed over the last year and reveals a few things you never knew about him. Here are highlights:
- On changing things up after No Country For Old Men: "This is the first time in 20 years that I’m playing a leading man in a romantic comedy. It was a conscious decision: in my early career I waited for more complex roles to come, knowing that they might not ever come. The complexity of Chigurh was a kind of dream — the Coen brothers are my favorite directors of all time. On that movie, I was the only foreigner. And Chigurh really comes out of nowhere, which helped with the character, but it was a little isolating. In Vicky Cristina, I’m with these three beauties. I was afraid no one in the audience would believe they’d ever be with me. I was in the makeup trailer saying, 'You better work a miracle.'"
- On loving movies: "I don’t believe in God, but I believe in Al Pacino. The other day I was watching Dog Day Afternoon again, and I see a man who is so true, so interesting and I understand more about the world from his performance. And you go, 'C’mon, it’s only acting.' Well, wouldn’t you say that a good book or a good painting allows you to see the world in a different way? When I see a great performance, I feel more alive."
- On his career: "As a kid, I felt happy onstage, but beforehand I would think, What am I doing here? I should be in the playground with my friends. I’m the same today: we actors are lazy. 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."
To see what else Javier had to say about his Oscar and his other artistic talent, just read more.
- On how he was received back home after winning an Oscar: "The Spanish are tough. They criticize my work and say I sold out. You want to say, 'Stop it — you’re a bunch of stupid people.' But you are never going to be liked by everybody. After the Oscars, I came back to Madrid, where I live. I wanted to get back to the real world. After something like the awards, you’ve changed a little bit, but everyone around you has changed tremendously. You have to bring them back — you have to show that you are the same stupid, limited guy and not this kind of golden boy."
- On learning from his roles: "On When you act, you learn things. Before No Country I had never held a gun and now I can drive a car. When I was doing Chigurh, my English became so good that I was dreaming in English. Actors don’t learn because they want to know — we learn because we have to learn. I wish I would play a cook, so I could learn to make something worth eating."
- On his hidden talent: "From the ages of 19 to 23, I studied painting. Initially, I worked as an extra in movies to get money to keep painting. Now I paint very secretly."
We don't blame Javier for taking advantage of time off when he can get it, but we're still looking forward to seeing a lot more from him in the future — and maybe even get a peek at his secret paintings someday.