Javier Bardem Talks Bond-Villainy, Why He’s Such A Good Bad Guy (And Actor)

Javier Bardem is Hollywood’s go-to bad guy. Do you have a movie that’s pretty good but it needs a bit of extra “oomph” to get it some real attention? Call Javier Bardem. The Spanish actor never disappoints, and his often-visceral turns as a film’s villain are always memorable.

Bardem sat down with the Guardian recently to talk about his villain appeal, and a bit about his philosophy as an actor. “You want to do your job well so that people in the future say, ‘OK, he’s not bad, let’s hire him,’ ” Bardem says. After having received international recognition and a handful of awards for his portrayal of Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Men, Bardem has successfully landed a number of high-profile opportunities, the latest of which sees him as the primary antagonist in the latest James Bond adventure Skyfall.

With public perception regarding Bardem as the ultimate bad guy, he was asked if he considers himself as sinister as we do. “Every time I wake up,” Bardem jokes. “I look at myself in the mirror to brush my teeth and it’s very sinister. Ugh, look at that nose; look at those eyes. Ugh, my tone of voice.”

Married to Penelope Cruz, the 43-year-old lives in Madrid and makes it a point to stay out of Hollywood as much as possible: So much so that he simply refers to trips to LA as “going to the office.”

On his participation in Skyfall, despite a melodramatic physical appearance (of which Bardem is accustomed to, as evidenced by his variety of oddball roles), Bardem seemed to relish the chance to participate in such a long-running and well-known film franchise. “When she [Dame Judi Dench] opens her mouth and looks you in the eyes, you’re like, ‘Wow! This is a big deal.’ You feel a force of nature against your chest,” Bardem recalls.

He specifically pointed to an incident when he shared a scene with both Daniel Craig and Dench, in which a sudden realization necessitated a humble break in shooting. “I looked at them both and forgot the lines,” Bardem said. “There was a silence and Sam said, ‘Cut, what’s wrong?’ And I said, ‘I’m sorry, man, I just realised I’m in a James Bond movie and M and James Bond are looking at me.’ “

Javier Bardem plays the villain Raoul Silva in Skyfall which opens October 26, 2012 in the UK.