Javier Bardem On Uxbal

November 18th, 2010

Javier Bardem always wanted to work with Alejandro González Iñárritu and vice versa – and the two finally come together with Biutiful. González Iñárritu had Bardem in mind for Uxbal even as the character first emerged in his imagination. When he showed Bardem the script, the actor’s reaction was instantaneous.

“It had a deep impact on me, for sure,” says Bardem. “I had a very instinctive, emotional response to it. When you have this kind of material, you know you are going to jump into an ocean of doubts and fears, and also expectations and joys. In the end, with this story, it is the journey that counts, but you want to do it right, to do justice to it. You don’t want to rush to get to a particular place but give yourself completely over to it. It is a journey towards love, towards the light, towards the positive things inside something that has become black, dark and difficult.”

Uxbal embodies a man of roiling contradictions – a devoted father, broken lover, hardened street criminal, spiritual sensitive – in a moment of sudden, intensifying personal danger and vulnerability, as well as transformation. “These contradictions were already there on the page,” he notes. “All of these aspects of Uxbal were beautifully rendered and described in the screenplay. What I had to do was find the meeting point of all of these things without betraying any of them. In the end, Uxbal is a normal person who has to face a very tough experience, who has to face reality, and who has to overcome all this to leave a legacy for his family, a legacy which he could not have left in the beginning. He wants to leave something positive for his kids, something that gives them hope and something they can carry in their future lives.”

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