As Spain's most internationally acclaimed actor, Javier Bardem has captivated audiences worldwide with his diverse performances. In 2008, Bardem received the Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actor for his chilling portrayal of sociopath killer, Anton Chigurh, in Joel and Ethan Coen's No Country for Old Men.
|Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures|
Now, Bardem plays Silva, the man who puts MI6 – Britain's secret intelligence agency -- at risk, in Columbia Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures' “Skyfall,” the 23rd 007 James Bond installment which is the longest-running film franchise in history.
In “Skyfall,” James Bond’s (Daniel Craig) loyalty to M (Judi Dench) is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.
When Bond’s latest assignment goes gravely wrong and agents around the world are exposed, MI6 is attacked forcing M to relocate the agency. These events cause her authority and position to be challenged by Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes), the new Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee. With MI6 now compromised from both inside and out, M is left with one ally she can trust: Bond. 007 takes to the shadows – aided only by field agent, Eve (Naomie Harris) – following a trail to the mysterious Silva whose lethal and hidden motives have yet to reveal themselves.
Bardem is no stranger to playing dark and complex characters. “When I read the script, I was immediately drawn to the story and the character's possibilities. To work with Sam Mendes and to be a part of his incredible cast and crew, I couldn’t say no to an opportunity like this,” says Bardem.
Director Sam Mendes says that the key to a great Bond villain is to strike a certain balance. “The performance has to be real enough, but also have flamboyance,” he says. “The great ones – the Dr. Nos’, the Rosa Klebbs’, the Goldfingers’ – are ever-so-slightly theatrical and yet are all the more frightening because of it. For Silva, Javier allowed himself to be playful and mischievous, but never lost the danger, the mystery, the strangeness, the otherness. I think he’s done something wonderful.”
Bardem describes his character, Silva, as “An angel of death – a very clean-shaven person who happens to be rotten on the inside.”
The Oscar®-winning actor explains finding the character inside the villain. “He has a very personal objective – he’s not trying to destroy the world,” he says. “And he is on a straight line to that objective: he is a man seeking revenge. It’s about being focused on the one person he wants to eliminate.”
“It’s always about who’s the person behind the character,” he continues. “It would be very difficult for me to play a role that I just saw as some kind of symbol. In this case, there is a man suffering, a man full of pain and frustration, who simply wants to fix the situation. Within that journey, there was room to be funny or aggressive, but I could perfectly understand who he was, and that helped me to portray him.”