On the red carpet for the NYC premiere of Biutiful, director Alejandro González Iñárritu shared his thoughts on the working with Javier Bardem.

“For me this is a very personal project,” said González Iñárritu. “Because of the themes it broaches, because I risked everything and put it all in. And [Javier] felt equally close to the material and affected by it, though curiously I wrote it with him in mind without knowing if he would accept it, taking a risk. We were both so devoted to the material that we found reasons to do it beyond just work. It was beautiful to share that.”

Bardem echoed the director’s enthusiasm over the collaboration: “Alejandro is a person who writes very potent, very intense material, and he likes to direct in a way that demands absolute submission from the actor. And as it happens, I’m a bit like that too. And when the two of us got together, we went very far. Very far in the sense that, with a problem like this, you can’t keep your hands in your pockets. That’s what we did, and it was intense, difficult, physically and emotionally exhausting, but we both knew that what we were doing had a meaning.”

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