Javier Bardem became well-known internationally in 2008 when he won an Oscar for his role in the film “”No Country for Old Men”, the first Spanish actor to win this award. He has also won six Goyas, one Golden Globe award, one BAFTA award and one Cannes Festival prize.
Javier Bardem comes from the Canary Islands, from a famous family of actors including his mother Pilar Bardem who introduced him to the acting profession at the age of four. In his first scene as a child actor he was supposed to laugh as the actor Fernando Fernán Gómez pointed a gun at him. Instead, he became frightened and started to cry as someone on the set joked: “Leave him alone – he’s a dramatic actor”. After some small film parts with his mother he went on to play various roles in television series in the late eighties.
Despite his early acting experiences, Javier’s main interest was in rugby and he played for a Madrid team until 1990 after which went to Art College to study painting. However, as his physique developed it became clear that he was ideally suited to play rough, aggressive roles and after his performance in Bigas Luna’s film “Jamón Jamón” he became that director’s “mascot” actor.
When he received his first Goya in 2003 he spoke out in the ceremony against the invasion of Irak and Spain’s involvement in the conflict. In 2004 he won another Goya for his role in “Mar Adentro” (The Sea Inside”) which also had an Oscar nomination. In the film he portrayed the true story of the Galician sailor Ramón Sampedro who became paraplegic as a result of a diving accident. Javier’s physical transformation into a bed-ridden middle-aged man determined to fight for the right to die, was remarkable.
In 2008 Javier worked with Scarlett Johansson and Penelope Cruz on the Woody Allen film “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” and gained yet more international recognition in 2012 for his role as the baddie, Raoul Silva, in the James Bond movie “Skyfall”. In the same year he received his star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In recent years he has been outspoken in defense of the Saharaui people, former Spanish colonial population and their right to self-determination
He married the actress Penelope Cruz in 2010 and they have two small children Leo and Luna.