Javier Bardem
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Javier Bardem

The Spanish actor, born on March 1st 1969, had an impressive career in Spain prior to breaking into the North American movie industry. Bardem has won several awards, including an Oscar for best supporting actor in No Country for Old Men. He is the latest in a long line of talented individuals from his family in the media and film industry. He has been involved with several industries before sticking to film, as he starred in several television series and also tried his hand at being a painter. On top of this he was a youth national rugby team player for Spain. He starred in his first film at the age of 6 in El Picaro.

At the age of 20, he appeared in his first major film, The Ages of Lulu. He then starred alongside a young Penelope Cruz in the film Jamón, Jamón in 1992, where he played a potential underwear model and a would-be bullfighter. This film helped increase his fame, not only within Spain but also in the English speaking film world. He was asked to appear in an English speaking film by John Malkovich in 1997, but Bardem turned down the role as he thought his language skills weren't up to scratch. However later that year, he appeared in an English speaking movie directed by Alex de la Iglesia.

He then starred in a large number of films in Spain, before once again venturing out into the international film world, appearing in Before Night Falls in the year 2000. For his efforts, he was nominated for an Oscar and he also received praise from numerous people, including his idol, Al Pacino. In 2002, Javier Bardem finally appeared in a film by John Malkovich, The Dancer Upstairs. Bardem has admitted that he has always been grateful to Malkovich, who was the first person to offer him the chance to work in English-speaking cinema.

The next big hit for Bardem was his performance in Mar Adentro in 2004, however the biggest amount of fame came in 2007, when he appeared in the English language film, No Country for Old Men. After winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, the film roles just keep coming in for the Spanish actor.

2007 was also the year in which Javier Bardem began dating Penelope Cruz. Not much is known about their relationship as the two like to keep their private lives very much under wraps. It is believed they got married in July 2010, and they had a son who is named Leo in 2011.

Film Background

Javier had already established himself within his home country as an actor, having performed in over 20 films before finding his international breakthrough in Before Night Falls. This film put the spotlight on his unique talents and from there he continued to flourish with the guidance of good directors. He was even nominated for Best Actor at the Oscars, but lost out to Russel Crowe for his performance in Gladiator. However, this made Javier Bardem the first Spaniard to be nominated for an Academy Award.

Javier Bardem went on to win an award for El Mar Dentro, known as The Sea Inside in the United States, which follows the true story of assisted suicide activist Ramon Sampedro. The film portrays his struggle to have his human rights recognized by society and to be allowed to be at peace, a truly thought-provoking plot. He has also been noted in the popular Collateral, also starring Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx in an adrenalin-pumping hitman feature film.

Some of his many awards include a Golden Globe award, Screen Actors and Critics Choice award. Another notable performance was in the Woody Allen picture Vicky Cristina Barcelona, in which he starred alongside Penelope Cruz and Scarlet Johansson.

However, by far his most famous performance was that of the sociopathic assassin named Anton Chigurh in the film No Country for Old Men. It was for this role that Bardem finally got an Oscar, for Best Supporting Actor, which made him the first Spaniard to win an Academy Award.

List of Notable Films

  • Las Edades de Lulu
  • Jamon Jamon
  • Running out of Time
  • Mouth to Mouth
  • Mondays in the Sun
  • Collateral
  • Goya's Ghost
  • No Country for Old Men
  • Vicky Cristina Barcelona