Javier Angel Encinas Bardem is a Spanish actor and environmental activist. Bardem won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as the psychopathic assassin Anton Chigurh in the 2007 Coen Brothers film No Country for Old Men. Take a look below for 28 more awesome and interesting facts about Javier Bardem.
1. Bardem was born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, in the Canary Islands, Spain.
2. His mother, Pilar Bardem, is an actress, and his father, José Carlos Encinas Doussinague (1931–1995), was a businessman involved in environmental work.
3. The two separated shortly after his birth and his mother raised him alone.
4. Bardem comes from a long line of filmmakers and actors dating back to the earliest days of Spanish cinema; he is a grandson of actors Rafael Bardem and Matilde Muñoz Sampedro, and a nephew of screenwriter and director Juan Antonio Bardem.
5. Both his older brother and sister, Carlos and Mónica, are actors.
6. He also comes from a political background, as his uncle Juan Antonio was imprisoned by Franco for his anti-fascist films.
7. Bardem was brought up in the Roman Catholic faith by his grandmother.
8. As a child, he spent time at theatres and on film sets.
9. At age six, he made his first film appearance, in Fernando Fernán Gómez’s El Pícaro (The Scoundrel).
10. He also played rugby for the junior Spanish National Team.
11. Though he grew up in a family full of actors, Bardem did not see himself going into the family business. Actually, painting was his first love.
12. He went on to study painting for four years at Madrid’s Escuela de Artes y Oficios.
13. In need of money he took acting jobs to support his painting, but he also says he was a bad painter and eventually abandoned that career pursuit.
14. 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, a job that made him question whether he wanted to be an actor at all.
15. Bardem has confessed to having worked as a stripper (for one day only) during his struggling acting career.
16. Bardem’s native language is Spanish and he is also fluent in English.
17. He is a fan of heavy metal music, with a particular penchant for the band AC/DC.
18. Bardem cannot drive, only getting behind the wheel for film roles, and he consistently refers to himself as a “worker”, and not an actor.
19. Bardem was raised as a Catholic.
20. Following the legalization of same-sex marriage in Spain in 2005, Bardem stated that if he were gay, he would get married “right away tomorrow, just to screw the Church”.
21. He is now agnostic.
22. He has later said that while he does not believe strongly in the supernatural, he does not deny it. “We are just this little tiny spot in the whole universe, so of course there must be other things, other people, other creatures, other lives and other dimensions. Sure, I believe in it”. In the same interview, Bardem stated that he thinks science and belief “should go together”.
23. Despite the villainous characters he has played throughout his acting career, Bardem has a self-confessed “hatred” of violence which stems from a fight in a nightclub in his early twenties which left him with a broken nose.
24. In May 2011 Bardem teamed up with The Enough Project’s co-founder John Prendergast to raise awareness about conflict minerals in eastern Congo.
25. In 2007, Bardem began dating Penélope Cruz, his co-star in Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
26. Bardem and Cruz have maintained a low public profile, refusing to discuss their personal lives. The couple married in July 2010 in The Bahamas.
27. They have two children: a son, named Leo Encinas Cruz, born on 23 January 2011, in Los Angeles; and a daughter, named Luna Encinas Cruz, born on 22 July 2013, in Madrid.
28. During the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict, Bardem and Cruz signed an open letter denouncing Israel’s actions as a “genocide”.