Note: I was a guest of Walt Disney Pictures for this junket. All opinions are strictly my own.
With a sparkle in his eyes and a smile that lights up the room, it’s difficult to see Javier Bardem as the horrible Captain Salazar with his ghostly hair and piercing eyes in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. I had screened the film at the premiere a couple of nights before sitting down with him, and YES he was terrifying in the role. I won’t give up TOO much, but suffice to say that I’d rather sit and chat with Javier than Salazar.
CL: How did you become involved in the project?
JB: I got involved back then, 2010, because Penelope was shooting “Pirates 4” – so I went to the set in Hawaii, a beautiful place, and Los Angeles, and London. I was very envious. I was very jealous because I was seeing all this amazing production taking place, the water, the special effects, the boat, the sword fighting. I wanted to be one of those. So, I said to Jerry, Jerry please, give me a job.
He called me five years after and I was so surprised and honored because as a movie goer, I love the franchise. So, I knew that production wise and experience wise it was going to be great. Now, it was a matter of what’s the story and what can I bring to the character?
CL: Was it difficult to portray the emotions through all of that makeup?
JB: That was one of my concerns. To see if my facial expression can go through the mask, but these guys, Grace I think it was, they won the Oscar for “Mad Max,” these makeup people. They are young, from Australia, and they did an amazing job and once I had the mask on the face, I realized that I could express myself through it, which is important. Otherwise, your performance is killed by it.
CL: I read that you played rugby. What position did you play?
JB: I played European rugby, yes. I played #3 , but I played in Spain and I’m saying that being a rugby player in Spain is like being a bull fighter in Japan, in the sense that we don’t have a very strong rugby culture. We love it, more and more now, because it’s become professional so people are now getting to know it better, but back in my day, there were not so many. I was captain of the national team.
I think rugby, is a great philosophy on the field. First of all, the referee is God. There are rules to follow, and also there is no room for stars. You are one of the team and that’s the same as a movie set. I’m always saying that because I played rugby for almost 20 years, I know what a movie set is. You are part of the team and the moment where you think of yourself as more important than the rest, everything is going down. The goal, the aim is destroyed, which is bring the ball to the side of the line.
**Sidenote: I’d still like to see him in a pair of rugby shorts in the scrum.
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