Oscar Actors: Bardem, Javier–Before Night Falls, No Country for Old Man

Javier Bardem gives another stellar performance as Juan Antonio in Woody Allen’s entertaining comedy, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.”

 Bardem is the first Spaniard to have been nominated for an Oscar Award for Best Actor, an honor he received for his portrayal of the Cuban poet and dissident Reinaldo Arenas in Julian Schnabel’s BEFORE NIGHT FALLS.  He was also named Best actor at the Venice Film festival for this role, which also won him Best Actor honors from the National Society of Film Critics, the Independent Spirit Award and the National Board of Review, as well as a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor.  Javier has received a total of seven nominations and four wins for the Goya Award, which is the Spanish equivalent of an Oscar.


Most recently, Javier starred in the critically acclaimed film NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, directed by Joel and Ethan Coen.  For his role as the chilling Anton Chigurh, Bardem won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and NY Film Critics Award.  The film won an Oscar for Best Picture, as did the Coen brothers for Best Director.  The cast, which also includes Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin and Woody Harrelson won a Screen Actors Guild for Best Ensemble as well as a National Board of Review Award.


In 2004 he went on to win another Best Actor Award from the Venice Film Festival (only one other actor has won the Best Actor Award twice in Venice) for his performance in Alejandro Amenabar’s film THE SEA INSIDE.  For this role, he also won a Goya Award and received a Golden Globe nomination.  Bardem’s other film credits include Luna’s GOLDEN BALLS, THE TIT AND THE MOON, BETWEEN YOUR LEGS, DIAS CONTADOS (Best Actor, San Sebastian), MOUTH TO MOUTH, ECSTACY, Almodovar’s LIVE FLESH, DANCE WITH THE DEVIL, WASHINGTON WOLVES and SECOND SKIN.


Javier Bardem was born March 1, 1969 in Las Palmas Gran Canarias (Canary Islands, Spain). His mother is Pilar Bardem, a respected actress who has worked continuously from the mid-60s to the present day, and his uncle was Juan Antonio Bardem, one of Spain’s most celebrated directors, jailed by the Franco regime when his DEATH OF A CYCLIST won the critics prize in Cannes. Many other members of the Bardem family are also well-known actors, including his grandfather Rafael Bardem and grandmother Matilde Muñoz Sampedro.


Javier was four when his mother secured him a minor role in the Spanish mini-series EL PICASSO. As a youth, Bardem studied painting in the Escuela de Arte Y Officios Art School while playing small roles on TV. It was in the early 1990s when the Spanish director Bigas Luna offered him a role in THE AGES OF LULU that his acting career got seriously underway.


After a small role in Pedro Almodovar’s HIGH HEELS, Bardem made his name in 1992 with a lead role in the film JAMON, JAMON.  Bardem was nominated for the Best Actor Award at the San Sebastian film festival and won several other awards for his performance.


Recent works include in John Malkovich’s directorial debut THE DANCER UPSTAIRS, Fernando Leon de Aranoa’s MONDAYS IN THE SUN, which was named best film at the San Sebastian film festival, Michael Mann’s COLLATERAL; GOYA’S GHOSTS opposite Natalie Portman and in LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA.


In 2008, Javier was honored with the Montecito Award at the Santa Barbara Film Festival. 

See Reviews of Vicky Cristina Barcelona and No Country for Old Men, as well as my interview with Bardem.