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
- 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.