From a quadriplegic demanding euthanasia to a psychopathic killer to a sensual lover, he gives his soul to each role. He was the first Spaniard to get an Oscar nomination for playing controversial Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas in Before Night Falls (2000), his first film outside Spain where he had to speak a foreign language (English) with a Cuban accent! He was also Oscar-nominated for The Sea Inside, playing a quadriplegic, fighting for his right to die. His chilling role as sociopath Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men (2006) won him the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. He was the first Spaniard to take home filmdom’s most coveted statuette.
Born Javier Ángel Encinas Bardem in 1969 in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, he debuted at 11 in El Poderoso Influjo de la Luna (1980) with mum Pilar Bardem. Acting is in his blood: his mother, his grandparents, his siblings all actors & his uncle, Juan Antonio Bardem, a director. Says John Malkovich, who directed him in The Dancer Upstairs: “His talent is off the radar!”
Whether you like him more as a lusty painter (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) or a flamboyant anti-Bond (Skyfall), you know his uncanny ability to transmogrify roles, bring alive each nuance. Despite Hollywood fame, he has no plans to leave Madrid, where he owns restaurants & lives with his wife (& long-time co-star) Penelope Cruz & their kids Leo & Luna.
Did you know that Javier is also a talented sportsman, and was once on the Spanish national rugby team?!
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