In an interview with Fresh Air‘s Dave Davies on NPR, Javier Bardem explains that as soon as he read the script for Biutiful, he connected with his character — because he enjoys playing people who are full of contradictions.

“You have to create a normal person under strange circumstances, and that’s always challenging because you don’t have a stereotype to create,” Bardem explains. “You have to really go to the bottom of the heart of this man and try to live with him for five months, which is what the whole shoot lasted.”

Read more, and access the audio interview, here.

The nominations for the 83rd Annual Academy Award nominations were announced this morning and Javier Bardem scored a nod for Best Actor for his role in ‘Biutiful.’ Colin Firth (‘The King’s Speech’), Jeff Bridges (‘True Grit’), Jesse Eisenberg (‘The Social Network’), and James Franco (’127 Hours’) round out the category.

The 83rd Academy Awards, to be hosted by Anne Hathaway and James Franco, will air live from Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre on ABC at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET Sunday, Feb. 27.

IMDB has a good listing of coverage of the nominations from multiple sources, here. reports that Javier Bardem considers the role of Uxbal in BIUTIFUL his toughest role yet.

“This is the heaviest movie I’ve done in my life and one of the heaviest I will ever do,” Bardem said.

“It’s not the kind of film where you deliver the lines and go back to your hotel to sleep. This is a personal journey. You give yourself up in the name of the role and pray to survive.”

The No Country For Old Men star, who has been tipped for another Academy Award for Biutiful, said he knew the role would be all-encompassing as soon as he read the script.

He added: “When you have this kind of material, you know you’re going to jump into an ocean of doubts and fears. You want to do it right, to do it justice. You want to give yourself completely over to it.”

Playing such an intense role was part of the reason Bardem jumped at the chance to do Eat Pray Love opposite Julia Roberts, which was released last year but shot after Biutiful.

He explained: “I needed to do Eat Pray Love. I was like, ‘It’s time to go to Bali, wear nylon shirts and play golf’.”

Writing in, Dave Karger says “A couple weeks ago, I groused to you about how I thought Javier Bardem’s powerful performance in Biutiful has been unfairly overlooked during this awards season so far. Well, it turns out I have a sister in my disappointment: Julia Roberts.”

Roberts recently hosted a screening of Biutiful on behalf of Bardem (her costar in Eat Pray Love) for a select industry crowd in Los Angeles to press the case for Bardem.

“He’s so raw and completely open to sharing every emotion this character has,” Roberts told EW. “I think it’s unexpected for a man to expose himself so deeply. And it’s incredibly agonizing in its subtleties. I just have a great appreciation for what he went through to show us all this.”

Read the full interview here.

Writing in “The dark is just Biutiful to Alejandro González Iñárritu and Javier Bardem” Nicole Sperling of The Los Angeles Times explores the relationship between Biutiful director Alejandro González Iñárritu and its star, Javier Bardem.

“It was Oscar night 2001 and Iñárritu had just been overlooked by the academy — for the first time. The then-38-year-old filmmaker celebrated the defeat of his Amores Perros by drinking copious amounts of tequila with Sean Penn and Bardem, two men who would later serve as unlikely muses for the Mexican director,” Sperling writes.

Biutiful, which arrived in theaters in New York and Los Angeles on Dec. 29 in advance of a wide release late in January, debuted at the Cannes film festival this year and won Bardem an actor’s award. It received a Golden Globe nomination for best foreign film. At a recent screening moderated by Penn, the actor compared Bardem’s performance to Marlon Brando’s Oscar-nominated turn in Last Tango in Paris.

Bardem was willing to go down Biutiful‘s rabbit hole with his friend Iñárritu, an acting experience he says was unlike any other he’s had, because he connected to the character immediately. “There was something there that I understood emotionally, intellectually,” said Bardem. “I wanted to take that risk, to see if I could rob those moments that don’t belong to me, that you hope will never belong to you.”

“All the themes that are explored here are mine. Family diseases, emotional diseases, even fears,” said Iñárritu. “I have big offers to do Hollywood films, but when I’m doing this, I know that I have to do it. This comes from a deep, deep part of me. I have never done a job for a job, but this one I think was really close to me.”

Read the full piece here.

Q and A with Javier Bardem

December 29th, 2010

Javier Bardem will be participating in a Question and Answer session following a screening of Biutiful this evening in Los Angeles. The event follows the 7:10pm showing on Wednesday, December 29th, at the AMC Century City 15. Bardem will also be on hand to introduce the 10:35pm show

Visit for showtimes and tickets.

Writing in, Christina Radish calls Biutiful “a love story between a father and his children and the unexpected journey that life can take us on.” Highlights of the interview include…

On the character of Uxbal: “He probably came from a question that has to do with what I would do if I had 75 days left to live,” Iñárritu says. “What would be important? I think that was the trigger thought behind Uxbal.”

On how Biutiful differs from his previous films (Amores Perros, Babel, 21 Grams): “The first three films that I did were more plot-driven films and the events were what was moving the story forward. In this case, I wanted it to be a character-driven film. The character is the one who is navigating and things are moved by him. I liked that. That’s the way I wanted to tell this story. It depends on the story that I will tell. Every story has to find the best way to be told.”

Read the full interview here.

The Playlist offers an exclusive interview: Javier Bardem Talks The Sorrow, Joy of Being Biutiful.

“[Uxbal] has to go through a journey,” Bardem says. “He has to struggle and evolve in himself as a human being, and see the best and the worst of himself—and in him, we see ourselves. If you are not ready to see that, then well you’re not and that’s okay, but… [when I experience a film] I want to see something that explains the complexity of ourselves on screen.”

Speaking to critics of the film, the relates that, while Biutiful received much acclaim coming out of Cannes (including the best actor prize for Bardem), reviews have been mixed and some see the film as bleak. But as Bardem tells it, that’s a reductive viewpoint to a movie full of soul and humanity. “That is way too simple to say,” he said. “This movie is about much more than what they’re referring to, this movie is about human spirit at its best.”

Read the full interview here.

Writing in TheWrap, Steve Pond asks, Will Somebody Please Nominate Javier Bardem?

Every awards season is rife with injustices, but one in particular stands out so far this year. Javier Bardem’s performance in Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s haunted, crushing tone poem Biutiful is a towering achievement, a magnificent performance that should comfortably sit on every list of the great acting accomplishments of the year. Without saying much… Bardem subtly evokes and embodies a world-weary Everyman living with a ticking clock and the weight of the world on his shoulders.

Guillermo del Toro has called Bardem’s performance ‘monumental’; Sean Penn said it’s the best thing he’s seen since Marlon Brando in Last Tango in Paris. ‘When I saw King’s Speech, I thought Colin Firth gave the best performance I’d seen in a couple of years,’ Ben Affleck told me at a party for The Town a couple of weeks ago. ‘Then I saw Biutiful.’ He shook his head. ‘Javier is on another level from the rest of us.’

Memo to Academy members: SAG and Globe voters blew it, badly. Don’t you do the same.”

Read Pond’s interview with Bardem here.

Biutiful has been nominated for a Golden Globe Award in the Best Foreign Language Film category, and in the same category for the Critics Choice Movie Awards. Read more about Alejandro González Iñárritu’s reaction to the news in the Hollywood Reporter, here.