Javier Bar­dem

The Os­car-win­ning ac­tor chats long days and legs of ham…

Total Film - - Teasers -

What’s the first thing you do when you ar­rive on set?

I like to say hello to ev­ery­one. And then I head straight for the cof­fee. I can’t func­tion if I don’t have cof­fee.

What do you take on set with you?

I al­ways carry a copy of the script and I cover the pages with notes. I be­lieve in pa­per and pen­cil more than com­put­ers and but­tons, but I also make voice notes on my phone dur­ing the re­hearsals, and I make sure I have them with me on set too.

Do you ever sleep on set?

Def­i­nitely not. I can’t act when I’ve just wo­ken up. If I have to be wo­ken up to go to set, I’m gonna be bad!

What’s the long­est day you’ve ever spent on a film set?

When I was do­ing The Sea In­side, I would do about four-and-a-half hours of make-up ev­ery day, plus 12 hours of shoot­ing, plus one hour of tak­ing the make-up off – so that was al­most 18 hours. Ev­ery day. For a week. And I still didn’t sleep!

Hot or cold lunch?

I pre­fer the work­ing lunch. I don’t like to stop for an hour to eat – I pre­fer to eat what­ever I can around the shoot­ing… just snacks, here and there. It in­ter­rupts the rhythm of the act­ing some­times and it’s some­times hard to get back into it again. I don’t like stop­ping the process for any­thing.

Worst on-set ex­pe­ri­ence?

When I did Jamón Jamón, I was 21 and it was my first big movie. Pené­lope [Cruz] was only 16 at the time, and her char­ac­ter had this night­mare that I was hang­ing from a goal­post, naked, like a leg of ham. So I was strung up naked in the mid­dle of nowhere… in De­cem­ber. I re­mem­ber we had prob­lems with the crane and it took for­ever to shoot. I was cold, I was hu­mil­i­ated and I felt like, “Shit, what the fuck do I want to be an ac­tor for?!”

Have you ever stolen from a film set?

No. Some­times I take some clothes, but I al­ways ask first. I was also told I could have the coin that I flip in No Coun­try For Old Men, but the prop guy for­got to give it to me. But then Viggo Mortensen did a movie called The Road and ap­par­ently met the same guy. He gave the coin to Viggo and then Viggo came to Spain and gave it back to me. I keep it near the Os­car.

Best ever wrap party?

Wow, there have been some good ones. The one that Ju­lian Schn­abel gave us for Be­fore Night Falls, in Ver­acruz, Mex­ico, was a re­ally wild party that ended up in the pool. We had so many na­tion­al­i­ties of peo­ple there hav­ing a good time, it was fun. Also, I was 30 years old. Now I’m al­most 50, I usu­ally turn up, give ev­ery­one a hug, and then go back home!

What was it like shar­ing the set with your wife on

Lov­ing Pablo?

It’s great hav­ing Pené­lope there be­cause we bring the kids with us too. It’s hard when you have to work apart from each other on the other side of the world. But you have to be care­ful not to bring any of the char­ac­ter home. I think we’re pretty good at that though. We’ve been do­ing it for a long time! PB



bar­dem with real-life wife pené­lope cruz, in Lov­ing Pablo.

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