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Bardem is the latest Bond villain

Javier Bardem has already portrayed one of the most chilling screen villains in screen history. As the clinical killer Chigurh in the Coen Brothers’ No Country For Old Men, he stole the film. Now Daniel Craig will probably hope Bardem doesn’t have quite the same impact playing the villain in the new Bond film, Skyfall.

Bardem had been offered parts on Bond films before, but wasn’t interested until invited by director Sam Mendes to appear in Skyfall. He was surprised by the awe he felt playing opposite an icon of British cinema – not Bond, but Judi Dench, who plays M. "When she opens her mouth and looks you in the eyes, you're like, 'Wow! This is a big deal.'" Bardem told The Guardian. "You feel a force of nature against your chest."

Filming a scene with Dench and Daniel Craig brought it home. "I looked at them both and forgot the lines. 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.'"

Bond-awe aside, Bardem’s career as a character actor in Europe instilled a suspicion of the Hollywood star machine. He lives quietly in Madrid with his wife, who just happens to be Penelope Cruz, and child, flying out occasionally to LA, on business. He is old enough not to be swayed by acclaim and Oscar nominations, or by bad reviews.

"When you're too young, you think you know everything," he said. "You don't know sh*t. Now I know enough to know that I don't know anything."

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