Javier Bardem interview

by James Mottram

Javier Bardem

Oscar-nominated for his role in Before Night Falls, Spanish star Javier Bardem, 38, turns in another major performance as the psychopathic Anton Chigurh in the Coen Brothers' Texas thriller, No Country For Old Men.



In No Country For Old Men, you play a ruthlessly violent killer with arguably the worst haircut in film history. How come?



It's true! I guess the haircut helped us show that this man is insane, but also normal. I tried to show something of his physicality. He's clumsy and I tried to show that. I always thought of him like a tree-trunk - you have to hit it really hard for it to move. He's like Terminator but with more of a broken soul and his own ideas and rules.



You're up next as the lead in the film adaptation of Gabriel García Márquez's Love in the Time of Cholera. Why did you choose that?



How can I not choose that? I was 14 when I first read it, and I hardly understood anything, but I felt there was something very beautiful in there. Since then I have read it four or five times and now I've done the movie, I've read it much more than that. That character is the ultimate lover in the world. He's like a symbolic figure of what love should be.



Rumour has it, you were a male stripper in the past. Is that right?



For a day! It was a disaster. And you know who was there watching? My mum and my sister! It was kind of a thing - you go there and dance, they pay you some money. It wasn't like a Full Monty thing. I think I have a good relation with my family, thank God! We are very tight!



Do you find there's much jealousy in the business?



I do my job. The ones who like it, like it. The ones who hate it, hate it. I'm fine. I never pretend to be anything other than myself. That's my position since the very beginning. Yes, I have a lot of enemies, but who doesn't? One of the mistakes with this very public job is to try and make everybody like you. It's impossible, especially when you take a stand on something.



No Country For Old Men opens on 18 January.

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