Javier Bardem on ‘Skyfall’, Working with Sam Mendes and Taking on a Bond Villain

javier-bardem-skyfallIt’s true Javier Bardem makes a killer villain, pun intended.  Just check out his past Oscar-winning role in No Country for Old Men.  In the new James Bond film, Skyfall, Bardem brings his acting chops to a role that has some surprisingly funny moments.

Bardem told Moviefone the cast didn’t realize they were providing some comedic relief alongside the gun fights and explosions.  “The thing is, the material is there, the lines are there, but things have to happen on the set and that’s why Sam Mendes is who he is,” Bardem said.  “He [put] the actors on the right track and we worked the same scenes from different angles and colors and options…We really messed it up to a point where I thought many times that we were like an independent, small-budget movie by the way we were working so close to the joy of performing.”

The actor was a little undecided about taking on the responsibility of being the new Bond villain.  “It’s not that I had that because it was a James Bond movie; I have hesitations all the time,” Bardem said.  “Because, I guess, it’s a sign of insecurity that stays with me.  I don’t think you find, especially in movies, that great [of] material—that just with one reading you go like, ‘Whoa.’  I haven’t in my 25 years.  But that’s me, [and that’s my] insecurity. In this case the material was pretty good.  When Sam gave me these key points I was like, ‘OK, OK.  Makes sense.’  And then I get excited—that triggers my imagination.  I start to put photos and images together to show and…it’s a whole process and then, before you realize it, you are in the movie.”

Bardem’s villain in Skyfall rocks a serious hairstyle, which created a specific aesthetic for the bad guy.  “Sam gave me so many great ideas,” Bardem said.  “[He told me] to create uncomfortable situations, not being scary or threatening—a guy who [you] really don’t know how he’s going to react.  In other words, you have to create a situation, all the time, where the other one doesn’t know what’s going to happen next.  And then from there, we think about the look and we look for a look that’s uncomfortable to watch.  But at the same time, everything has to have some meaning and make sense with the character…It’s not just because you want to be blond.”

Skyfall opens Friday, November 9.

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