Congratulations to Javier Bardem on news that he’ll be a new daddy in 4 months. (That’s on top of already being imaginary daddy to many of us for the past several years).
Penelope Cruz, 36, has now confirmed her pregnancy through her agent Antonio Rubial… Cruz wed fellow Spanish actor Javier Bardem, 41, in the Bahamas in July.
Full-size profile and Esquire cover shot after the cut. Meanwhile, Bardem talks to Chris Jones about his role in Biutiful.
“They are only movies,” he says, “but I want to make movies that count for something.” The character he plays, a dying man named Uxbal, has scratched out a life on desperate margins, but he is a man who has also maintained an unlikely moral center ‚Äî like Anton Chigurh, like Bardem himself. “I believe in a man having a code,” he says. Bardem is unforgiving when wronged; he believes in doing a job well; he commits entirely, but he does not commit himself often…
Because Bardem believes in what he is doing, he had trouble separating Uxbal from himself. He started to wonder whether some awful stain was growing inside him, spreading to his liver, his brain. “I think it is a very powerful movie,” Bardem says. “I would like you to see it. I hope it makes you cry.”
Bardem is right. Biutiful is a nearly perfect movie, and Bardem carries nearly every frame of it. It’s not an easy movie; it’s not entertainment. There are dead children in it, and drugs, and blood filling the toilet bowl. But sure enough, the tears rise up in me and I cry in that nearly empty theater, and I hear the security guard sniffing behind me, too, watching Uxbal doing everything he can between today and the day he becomes a ghost. He can see them ‚Äî he can see the freshly departed floating against ceilings, screaming silent screams ‚Äî and he fights a losing fight to keep his own feet. Bardem is remarkable in it, the man on the sailboat. Watching him, I forget who he is, and I forget Anton Chigurh, and I forget Pen√©lope Cruz. Movies don’t save lives, but they can change them. The best of them can make you want to be better than you are.
Esquire‘s Chris Jones, luckiest writer of the week:
We went inside the house and we walked into the kitchen, and he offered up a Coke. That would be great. The fridge was already open, and out she came from behind the stainless-steel door. In my memory now, she is surrounded by cold mist and doves are flying around her head. “This is Pen√©lope,” he said. She smiled, and she gave me a Coke.
I’m pretty sure my voice cracked when I said thanks for the most delicious Coke I will ever drink. She had just woken up, and she was fresh out of the shower, her wet hair still slicked back. She wasn’t wearing makeup, but her skin was flawless. Her eyes were bright, and her teeth were perfect, and she was wearing a top that revealed her brown shoulders. It’s hard to write about how beautiful a woman is ‚Äî especially another man’s new wife ‚Äî without sounding like a creep or a pervert, but I defy any man to meet her and not wonder whether his Clarke’s nucleus has just exploded. No wonder Bardem thinks he’s dying. His heart must stop a thousand times a day.