Javier Bardem: “I’m finally excited to make a movie my kids can watch”
If we think Javier Bardem has been cast into sinister roles, now his career is opening up a new dimension. In his latest movie Lilo My Crocodile Friend, he surprises us with a singing and dancing character with a cute reptile who has the peculiarity of expressing himself through music and has the voice of Shawn Mendes. The film will be released in theaters on Friday, October 21.
If we go back to its beginnings and mldr; The first time we saw him sing was on “Boca Boca” and he sang “Make Em Laugh” from “Singing in the Rain”.
exactly! And not only that, in “Huevos de oro”, he also sang “Por el amor de una mujer” by Julio Iglesias.
And what happened now to take up that hidden face again?
It’s true that I’ve gone from not singing to doing so in three films in a row: The Little Mermaid (a live action from the classic Disney film directed by Rob Marshall in which he will play King Triton, still awaiting release), “Ser los Ricardos” (nominated for an Oscar) and now this. So let’s see what happens, why. Well, I didn’t ask myself much, I just thought, if I put life out there, I should take advantage of it. Then there’s the weight of my kids, who couldn’t see a movie of mine because they were still young, imagine that. What do I put on them, “It’s not a country for the elderly”? I think they have very little left for that (laughs). So this would be their first time seeing me on screen, and the truth is I was really excited about that. Although I’m very scared too!
You can tell how much fun he had shooting this movie.
Oh man, if you jump into that pool you have to swim and snorkel, turn back and into a butterfly position. If you are going to get wet, do it accordingly. And it was important to enjoy it, because the character is pure pleasure, a man who has a great passion for what he does and is ready to share it with others, so doubts, conflicts or something else should be left. What I loved most about him was that she always had a smile on his face and that in these times it seemed so sweet to me, to be able to give that energy. It is great that this translates into music and movement for people and children to see and enjoy. And with the crocodile who is also, he’s the cutest.
Did this role come at a time in your career when you needed to have fun?
It’s true that I no longer care what people think. Interpreters need space to express ourselves. You don’t always have the opportunity to make great movies, but through others you can better reach the audience. Fortunate, in that sense, to be able to make a movie with Aaron Sorkin and another movie with a crocodile. It seems to me like a luxury. On the one hand, there are impressive scripts beside such a great actress as Nicole Kidman and on the other hand, some great musical compositions by those in charge of The Greatest Showman who sang with a crocodile. I kept both. One should not be underestimated in the face of the other.
The directors of “Lilo, My Crocodile Friend” are also Josh Gordon and Will Speck, who first appeared in “Slip to glory,” a modern-day comedy classic. Do you see yourself now wearing tights like Will Ferrer in that movie?
Look, when I said no to Steven Spielberg’s “minority report”, it was because I wanted to shoot “Monday in the Sun.” Also because I didn’t see myself ready at the time, neither to make a movie in English (I didn’t talk about it at the time), nor to do science fiction, which was supposed to be nothing. If they sent me that script now, I wouldn’t think about it for two seconds and I’m sure I’d have a great time jumping across rooftops as a robot.
In that sense, is there time for everything?
definitely. Ten years ago I still thought I was a very serious actor to do certain things (does a violent gesture and laughs). But hey, it’s not too serious to stand up to a team and do a musical number. And I just, because the crocodile wasn’t there, they later put it on in special effects. But the precision you have to have in that kind of production in every gesture, every step, is something I’ve never experienced before. Sometimes we think that the most intense is the hardest, which is not true.
What is your worst enemy? Cinema behind the pandemic?
The platforms are very good, but there is also a lot of content that goes unnoticed, and an excess of films (or content, as they say) can produce a stressful and exhausting effect. What do I see at the end? And you waste an hour searching and see nothing. And I think that’s the worst enemy, not being able to make a decision without thinking that you’re going to see something that you feel like you’re going to miss out on something else, say, the latest great series right now. It never happened before, you had five films and now you have to decide between fifty films. Within a month there were fifty more. And this relates to the culture in which we live, with the fear of not being part of the conversation.
Do you have FOMO (fear of missing something) or a dread of missing something?
I’m trying not to get it, I’m 53 and that has never been a part of my life. But I see it in my children and I also see it in the adults around me. We go too fast and that affects everything, how we consume things and how those things consume us.