Javier Bardem Practiced His Oscar Speech During Iconic Skyfall Scene

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Daniel Craig reveals that co-star Javier Bardem rehearsed his Oscar speech in his head while filming his famous rats monologue in Skyfall.

Skyfall adversary Javier Bardem was practicing his Oscars speech while filming the iconic scene in which his character Raoul Silva first meets Daniel Craig’s Bond. The third instalment in the spy franchise to feature Craig as 007, Skyfall saw Bardem’s Silva on an elaborate revenge quest to take down the head of MI6, ‘M’ (Judi Dench), after she abandoned him on a mission years earlier. Grossing over $1 billion at the global box office, accruing an abundance of positive reviews, and winning two Academy Awards, Skyfall is now widely considered to be one of the best James Bond films of all time.

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Before appearing as the embittered cyber-terrorist, Bardem had already showcased his uncanny prowess for playing compelling villains. For his performance as psychopathic hitman Anton Chigurh in the Coen Brothers’ revered neo-Western No Country For Old Men, Bardem became the first Spaniard to win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, as well as collecting a slew of other trophies. This success ensured his casting for a dynamic range of parts in the following years, from Woody Allen’s romantic comedy Vicky Cristina Barcelona to Alejandro González Iñárritu’s psychological drama Biutiful, before landing the role of Silva, which won him further acclaim as one of the most dynamic James Bond villains.


Related: Javier Bardem Explains The Key To Creating Memorable Villains

Now, it seems that Bardem was every bit as impressed with his performance as everyone else was. Speaking in conversation with Daniel Craig as part of Variety’s Actors on Actors series, the pair compare their early careers before moving on to their joint experiences collaborating with each other on Skyfall. But when discussion gravitates towards the first on-screen meeting between their two characters, Craig remembers how, during the scene in which Silva delivers his allegorical monologue to Bond about the cannibalistic rats on his grandmother’s island, Bardem was so pleased with his performance that he started practicing his preliminary Oscar acceptance speech in his head whilst still delivering his lines:


But I remember you saying this thing, and it made me laugh so much and I related to it so much, is you did it and Sam [Mendes] shouted “Cut!”, and you went “No, no, no, no. I was saying the Oscar speech in my head.” You said you got very pleased with yourself and…you were saying the Oscar speech.

Bardem himself then jokes how his thought processes veered towards “what [tuxedo] brand I’m going to wear” at the ceremony during his delivery. The star also outlines how Craig visibly showed encouragement for Bardem’s performance while he was tied to a chair with his face out of shot. And though Bardem ultimately didn’t win (or even get nominated for) an Academy Award for his take on the Bond villain, he did successfully garner nominations for BAFTA and SAG awards, among others, an achievement not many former 007 enemies can lay claim to.

Rehearsing potential Oscar acceptance speeches seems to be fairly common practice among creatives within the film industry. It’s certainly something that Craig is clearly very familiar with, and Bardem’s admission to doing it while actually shooting his character’s monologue may well leave Bond fans speculating exactly what he was prepping himself to say. And although this may not have been the only time that Bardem’s mind wandered while he was shooting Skyfall, it is evident that the actor has such an assured grasp of his talent that he knows exactly when his performances can be considered “Oscar-worthy.”


More: Skyfall: Silva Is Really M’s Son (James Bond Theory Explained)

Source: Variety

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