TORONTO – Spanish actor Javier Bardem said that he does not regret any of the roles he has played throughout his career, although he admits some of the films have been subpar and that concerns about the future are a constant source of anxiety in his profession.
The 48-year-old actor was a cast member in two very different pictures being screened at the Sept. 7-17 Toronto International Film Festival: “Loving Pablo,” Spanish director Fernando Leon de Aranoa’s movie about notorious Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar; and “Mother!” a horror film directed by Darren Aronofsky in which Bardem plays a recognition-obsessed writer.
Asked about his film-selection process, Bardem said he had always remained faithful to his criteria.
“For better or worse, eh! I’ve never regretted doing a film. I’ve done films or jobs that didn’t turn out perfectly,” he said.
Despite the success the Oscar-winning actor (for the 2007 Coen brothers’ film “No Country for Old Men”) has achieved both in Spain and abroad, he also acknowledged worries about what lies ahead.
“I’m concerned about whether there’ll be work. I’m not at a level of anxiety where I say, ‘bloody hell! I have no work.’ Not at all, but there’s enough where I say, ‘and after (this) what’s next?’ because this profession of ours is like that.”
Speaking of “Loving Pablo,” Bardem said he greatly enjoyed the film and knew that working with his wife, Penelope Cruz, who plays Escobar’s lover, would involve a “very intense relationship.”
“The truth is it was a really enjoyable, really nice process ... Penelope and I grew. We humbly went one step further in the right direction, because this project allowed us to delve deeper into our imaginations, into the creation of something beyond ourselves,” he said.
Referring to “Mother!” Bardem said he had given his all for Aronofsky.
Speaking of that horror film set at a remote country home, the actor said it had been “a daring cinematic exercise.”
And we all knew it and supported it. Tirelessly. We gave our all because ... Darren is a demanding, demanding director. He’s calm, unassuming, warm-hearted, intelligent, generous. And that’s why you give your all for him,” he added.
But Bardem said his role had been a challenging one because he does not share his character’s strong need for public recognition.
“I was able to understand or imagine that hunger for recognition. I could understand it and I could imagine it without judging it. Like (Spanish actress) Victoria Abril said very well, we’re our characters’ defense attorneys ... if not it would be impossible to portray them,” he said.