Friday, February 17, 2012

Javier Bardem

Javier Ángel Encinas Bardem (born 1 March 1969) is a Spanish actor. In 2007 he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as sociopathic assassin Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men, and has also garnered critical acclaim for roles in films such as Jamón, jamón, Carne trémula, Boca a boca, Los Lunes al sol and Mar adentro.

As well as the Academy Award, Bardem has been awarded a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a BAFTA, five Goya awards, two European Film Awards, a Prize for Best Actor at Cannes and two Coppa Volpis at Venice for his work. He is the first Spaniard to be nominated for an Oscar (Best Actor, 2000, for Before Night Falls, lost to Russell Crowe for Gladiator), as well as the first Spanish actor to win an Academy Award. He received his third Academy Award nomination, and second Best Actor nomination, for the film Biutiful.

Early Life
Bardem was born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands (Spain). His mother, Pilar Bardem, is an actress, and his father, José Carlos Encinas Doussinague, was a businessman who was involved in environmental work; the two separated shortly after his birth. His mother raised him alone. Bardem comes from a long line of filmmakers and actors who have been working since the earliest days of Spanish cinema; he is the grandson of actors Rafael Bardem and Matilde Muñoz Sampedro, and the nephew of screenwriter and director Juan Antonio Bardem. Both his older brother and sister, Carlos and Mónica, are actors. Bardem was raised Roman Catholic by his grandmother. He also comes from a very political background, his uncle Juan Antonio was imprisoned by Franco for his anti-fascist films.

As a child he hung around theatres and film sets. At age six he made his first film appearance in Fernando Fernán Gómez's El Pícaro (The Scoundrel). He played rugby for the underage Spanish National Team. Though he grew up in a family full of actors, Bardem didn't see himself going into the family business. In actuality painting was his first love. He went on to study painting for four years at Madrid's 'Escuela de Artes y Oficios'. In need of money he took acting jobs to support his painting but, has expressed to have been a bad painter eventually leaving it. In 1989, for the Spanish comedy show El Día Por Delante (The Day Ahead) he had to wear a Superman costume for a comedic sketch, the job made him question whether he wanted to be an actor at all. Bardem has confessed to have worked as a stripper (for one day only) during his struggling acting career.

Personal Life
He credits the group AC/DC for his fluency in English as well as learning how to curse and has stated he loves heavy metal music. Bardem has admitted in interviews he cannot drive, only getting behind the wheel for film roles, and he consistently refers to himself as a "worker" and not an actor.

Bardem is an atheist. Following the legalization of same-sex marriage in Spain in 2005, Bardem incited controversy when he stated that if he were gay, he would "get married tomorrow, just to fuck with the Church" (mañana mismo, sólo para joder a la Iglesia). In May 2011 Bardem teamed up with The Enough Project's co-founder John Prendergast to raise awareness about conflict minerals in eastern Congo.

Bardem began dating then co-star Penélope Cruz in 2007, although the couple have maintained a low public profile. The two are famously private and won't talk about their personal lives. According to the Associated Press, the two were married in July 2010 in the Bahamas. On 14 September 2010, it was announced that Cruz was four and a half months pregnant with their first child. The Hollywood Reporter quoted the Spanish magazine ¡Hola! that Cruz gave birth to a boy on 22 January 2011, three days before Bardem received his third Oscar nomination, for his role in Biutiful. The couple's son is reportedly named Leo Encinas Cruz.

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