Scarlett Johansson

“It’s dirty work. Somebody has to do it”: Javier Bardem Claims He Was “Forced to Kiss” Scarlett Johansson In Front of His Wife For a Woody Allen Film

No Country for Old Men star Javier Bardem once talked about the intriguing experiences of working in disgraced director Woody Allen’s film. During his appearance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, the Spanish actor opened up about the haircut he donned in the Coen brothers’ 2007 neo-Western crime thriller. He additionally described what it was like to “kiss beautiful women” in front of his wife, Penélope Cruz, for another film endeavor. 

Javier Bardem
Javier Bardem

Read also: Javier Bardem Refused Tom Cruise’s $358M Movie for His Bad English, Went On to Win Oscar 5 Years Later With Epic Performance

In 2008, Bardem starred in Vicky Cristina Barcelona alongside actresses like Scarlett Johansson, Rebecca Hall, and Penélope Cruz. The romantic premise required the actor to do what he deems “dirty work.” Keep reading to know what he had to say about the $96.4 million film. 

Javier Bardem’s No Country for Old Men Hairstyle Scared People

In No Country for Old Men, Javier Bardem played the main antagonist, Anton Chigurh. Bardem’s performance as the psychopathic killer earned him the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. While there are many aspects of the character that remain memorable and spine-chilling, one unforgettable element is the haircut he dons. In a separate interview, the actor had once affirmed how difficult it had been to maintain the lengthy hairstyle for three months on set.

He detested it. However, the juxtaposition of the strange haircut with the character’s amorality was a touch that Bardem soon came to appreciate. 

Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men
Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men

Read also: Julia Roberts Was Hesitant to Cast James Bond Actor Javier Bardem in Her $204M Movie Because of His Oscar-Winning Performance

It was precisely what made him take up the part as the character’s whole get-up, including the haircut, seemed like a testament to the Coen brothers’ abilities to create a compelling role and storyline. Despite his contradictory opinions on the bob cut, the actor didn’t miss the chance to make fun of it while he appeared as a guest on Conan O’Brien’s show.

Initially, the talk show host wondered whether or not the haircut was a wig. Spoiler alert: It wasn’t. Javier Bardem then said the following about it:

“That was the insanity of the Coen brothers. They put it on my head and I had to live with that for three months. […] I would go around New Mexico shopping, with that haircut, and everybody would get really, really, really scared!”

Conan O’Brien remarked that the Spanish actor must have been ecstatic to have his hairstyle changed back to normal after the filming concluded. “When the movie’s finally over, you must’ve been excited to celebrate by having the hair cut off,” the host remarked. Bardem amused him by replying that he had considered going bald.

Javier Bardem Was Forced To Kiss His Co-stars In This Movie

Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)

Controversial director Woody Allen’s 2008 romantic comedy-drama film Vicky Cristina Barcelona entailed Javier Bardem having to engage in what he lightheartedly deemed “dirty work.” The movie additionally stars Penélope Cruz, Rebecca Hall, and Scarlett Johansson. Conan O’Brien remarked that being paid to work alongside these beautiful women may have entailed a good time for the Spanish actor. Bardem agreed, but he also stated the following:

‘Life is good, but it’s a dirty work. Somebody has to do it, man. When you do movies, sometimes you’re forced to kiss beautiful women. Sometimes you have to kill people with a cartel gang.”

Javier Bardem alongside Scarlett Johansson and Penélope Cruz
Javier Bardem alongside Scarlett Johansson and Penélope Cruz

Despite persistent dating rumors, it is interesting to note that the actor was still not wed to his wife, Penélope Cruz at that point. It would take them just two more years to tie the knot. Therefore, having to kiss other actors in front of your future wife does present itself as an amusing irony.

To conclude his sentiments on the matter, Javier Bardem lightheartedly remarked that while filming the intimate scenes for the film, it was the first time the actor had despised Woody Allen’s “one-take policy.”

As an actor, one has to be mentally prepared to embark on unconventional journeys—whether it be stepping into the shoes of an amoral, unsympathetic, remorseless killer, or having to kiss your co-stars for the sake of a compelling narrative. We can affirm that Bardem has been able to do both with ease.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona is available for streaming on Prime Video.

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