Now that everyone is so sensitive, “having an opinion is very risky” but it is necessary, Spanish actor Javier Bardem said Friday in a talk with the public at the Cannes Film Festival.
The 53-year-old interpreter, known for his leftist positions and coming from a committed family, defended before a packed audience the fact of being able to have opinions and defend them.
“I feel good about having an opinion, rather than shutting up…especially now that everyone is so touchy about everything,” he said.
“Having an opinion is very risky”, but you have to have them because otherwise “there is no discussion” possible.
The actor insisted that the truth must continue to be told, although he recalled that in some countries, where personal freedoms are limited, it is dangerous.
In some places, “people are persecuted for giving their opinion, it’s very scary.” “I don’t know if I would have the courage to do it in such a situation,” he admitted, recalling that a Russian director, Kirill Serebrennikov, a critic of the government, attended Cannes this year.
During the talk, which lasted almost two hours, Bardem also had a few words for Ukraine, which has been very present at the event.
“We’re here celebrating life, movies, while people are being bombed in shelters,” he said. “It reminds me how everything is vulnerable. In a second, these families were enjoying themselves at the movies (…), they came home and they were bombed.”
Asked if he could define masculinity, the actor assured that it must include “half of femininity inside”. “We have to fight for the combination instead of abandoning ourselves to confrontation.”
In addition to the committed Bardem, there was also room for the interpreter of almost a hundred roles behind his back.
The first Spanish actor to win an Oscar, for his role as a murderous psychopath in “No Country for Old Men” (2007) by the Cohen brothers, reeled off, between jokes, some anecdotes from his filmography.
– “A piece of meat” –
Like his first casting, when he accompanied his sister to a test for a film by Bigas Luna, the director with whom he would later shoot “Jamón, Jamón” and where he would meet Penélope Cruz, his wife.
“They said, ‘do you want to do a test?'” he said. “They asked me to take off my shirt, I took it off and they gave me the role,” she continued. “I started out as a piece of meat.”
From the role with which he won the Oscar, the evil Anton Chigurh, recalled that when he was filming, he was not with the other characters, and he only saw that he was “killing all day”. The murderer’s peculiar hairstyle, a kind of half-length hair, was “horrible” and the worst thing was that it was his own hair, so when he “had a shower he was still there”.
He also commented on his role in “Biutiful” (2010), by Alejandro González Iñárritu, “one of the best directors in the world,” according to him.
When he received the award for best performance at Cannes, “it was very exciting because I had the opportunity to dedicate it to my wife, who was pregnant, and my mother”, the actress Pilar Bardem, who died last year.
The most tender moment of the conversation was probably when he commented on his reunion with Penélope Cruz, years after working with her on “Jamón, Jamon”. It was in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (2008), by Woody Allen, where he plays the role of a man who is the object of desire of Scarlett Johansson, Rebecca Hall and Cruz herself.
With Johansson and Hall, he felt calm, he said. But he hardly spoke to the Spanish actress, like at school when you don’t talk to the girl you really care about, he joked.
“I remember a scene where we had to kiss, on a bed. We kissed and kissed and kissed,” and by the end the cameramen were gone.
Allen sent them the sequence as a wedding present.