Javier Bardem On Winning the Coen Toss
Press Room Media Crush, Backstage Oscar(R) 2008
Edited by Quendrith Johnson
("No Country for Old Men" - Best Supporting)


Q: Congratulations.


Q. All right. We want you to share some of this joy in English, and also (Laughter). And also --

JAVIER BARDEM. I said some pretty good things out there in Spanish.

Q. Tell us, baby. We also want to know what your mother has been saying to you during this whole Academy Award process, when everyone went, he can't lose, he can't lose, he can't lose?

JAVIER BARDEM. Okay. My mother said to me when I take a plane and get there on time, make sure somebody helps me through immigration. And that's the only concern my mother had, and I was today, sitting down with her, and I said, "Mom, I'm nervous." And she said, "Why? They are not going to give it to you. Don't worry. And if they do, just have fun." And I said, "What the hell?" I don't know. My mother's been working for almost 50 years, and she knows everything about all this; the ups, the downs, the dark, the light, and it's a great companion, to have her on my side, and she always calms me down, and she knows the real success is to get a job and trying to fight for that job and try to do it as good as you can every time.

Q. It wasn't just your mom who thought you were going to win tonight; virtually everybody was predicting you were going to go home with the Oscar. How did that affect you, and did that put a lot more pressure on you? And who did you think was going to win?

JAVIER BARDEM. Well, since my little experience experience, sorry, in these days where they weren't giving me awards, and I don't know why, I guess the critics can have some impression on people, I learn one thing: you better write something, man, because you don't speak the language, and you cannot improvise. So, I brought something, not because I thought I was going to win, but I thought in case I win, I should say something. And then I said, wow, that was long, and it was 45 seconds. So, every time when they say, "And the Oscar goes to," I wasn't worried about if I was going to win or lose. I was, like, "If I win, what do I say because I have a lot to say?"
And then they say my name, and I was right there on stage trying to figure out how to put all the people I want to thank and I forgot by the way in 45 seconds. And so, I guess that was my way to put all the extra pressure on the nerves and the expectation that I (unintelligible) on this award, aside. And I put it on (unintelligible).

Q. Javier --

JAVIER BARDEM. Well, the good thing is that every actor you mean, about the Best Supporting Actor or in general?

Q. Best Supporting Actor?

JAVIER BARDEM. I don't know. I mean, Philip Seymour Hoffman, for me, is one of the most amazing actors of all time. There's no one moment of not truth in his performances. I go to the away, blown way with everything that he does.
Hal Holbrook, I didn't know his work prior to this, because I don't live here. When I saw "Into the Wild," I have a heart attack almost, and I almost have to leave the theatre in Toronto with the scene in the truck when he wants to adopt him. I said, "There's no way that nothing can really go up" how can I say "beyond that performance." That's an amazing, intimate moment of a man, who is really putting away the mask and being really transferring in front of audience. Casey Affleck, the whole journey is a piece of jewelry, jewelry, like every piece on time in order to create a really a spectrum of a ghost. And Tom Wilkinson, I haven't ever seen a madman so funny, crazy, dangerous, and the same time so heartbroken. So, I think it's who should win? I don't know. This is a lottery. I won. That doesn't mean I am better than the other one, than the others, the rest at all, that's for sure.

Q. (Spanish) --

JAVIER BARDEM. (Spanish) and I was sitting next to Jack Nicholson. I mean, what can I add? I mean, that was pretty cool.

Q. (Spanish). As you say in your speech, I'm going to have to say to you in Spanish. I am going to have to say this in English.

JAVIER BARDEM. Spanish or English?

Q. They have asked me to ask you in English because we are on TV.


Q. Congratulations for the award. We are very proud of you.


Q. And you've done many characters that come from extreme situations.

JAVIER BARDEM. You ever lost in a coin toss?

Q. Do you feel this is your most demanding performance at all than the ones you did in Spanish in Spain?

JAVIER BARDEM. Well, you want to think they are giving you the recognition for something you've done good, and sometimes you go, well, I think I've done better before, but the tricky part of this character was that everything was there to be constructed. There was nothing explained; neither on the book, neither on the script. So, everything that you see, you hear, you feel, is because the Coens and I, we put it together. And I guess that because of the Coens, and I and I mean this very seriously, we take one place where the character really is uncomfortable to watch. It's not about being scary. It's about what happened. I don't get it. This guy is going to do something, and I don't know what. And that's because we really, how to say... put out a lot of choices that will make the character many more fun to watch, but less interesting to feel, and that's something that, I guess, is a challenge. And we did it; me and the Coens.

Q. What do you feel is your most demanding role you've ever done, English or Spanish?

JAVIER BARDEM. Being just normal, being myself. That was the most demanding role. That's why every actor that present an award, they are going through a hell of a time because every actor wants to hide themselves, become somebody else. Because there have been many roles out there, and I guess I don't have anything special that I would go, "Wow, that was good." No. I have some moments where I thought that I really hit the note quite well, but moments, seconds. Thank you.
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