Javier Ángel Encinas Bardem was born on March 1, 1969, in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain. He comes from a renowned acting family in Spain. His mother is actress Pilar Bardem, daughter of actor Rafael Bardem (born in 1899, died in 1972) and younger sister of screenwriter-director Juan Antonio Bardem (born in 1922). He has a sister, Monica Bardem (born on May 4, 1964) and a brother, Carlos Bardem (born in 1963).
He got his start in the family business at age six when he appeared in his first feature, “El Pícaro”. During his teenage years he acted in several TV series, played rugby for theSpanish National Team, and toured the country with an independent theatrical group. Javier’s early film role as a sexy stud in the movie Jamón, Jamón (1992) propelled him to instant popularity.
Bardem once again showed his sex appeal when he starred as an oversexed guy in Bigas Luna’s “Huevos de Oro” (1993) and was handed a Fotogramas de Plata for Best Movie Actor for his performance. Fearing he would be stereotyped as nothing more than a burly sex symbol, he decided to keep away from such roles and in 1994, starred in “El Detective y la Muerte”, and “Dias Contados”. His perfomance in “Días Contados” made him won a Goya for Best Supporting Actor, a Spanish Actors Union for Supporting Performance, as well as a Silver Seashell for Best Actor at the San Sebastián International Film Festival.
The following year he played the starring role of a would-be actor who supports himself by working as a phone sex operator in Manuel Gómez Pereira’s comedy Boca a Boca. For this movie he won numerous awards such as a Goya, a Fotogramas de Plata, a Peñíscola Comedy Film Festival, an Ondas and a Premio ACE for Best Actor.
Bardem also stood out portraying characters in Extasis/Ecstasy (1996) and Perdita Durango (1997), opposite Rosie Perez. Along with Almodovar’s Carne Trémula (1997), his performance in the latter film won a Fotogramas de Plata for Best Movie Actor. Bardem closed out the decade by making his producing debut and starring in Los Lobos de Washington (1999), from which he picked up a Best Actor Ondas. He also portrayed a surgeon in Segunda piel (1999), where he netted a 2001 Fotogramas de Plata for Best Movie Actor.
Bardem eventually got his international breakthrough when director Julian Schnabel had him play the role of the persecuted Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas in Before Night Falls (2000), based on Arena’s posthumously published memoirs. Bardem’s performance was critically applauded and he was handed a Venice Film Festival, an Independent Spirit, a National Board of Review, a National Society of Film Critics, a Southeastern Film Critics Association and a Premio ACE award. For this movie, Javier got an Academy Award nomination, this fact made him the first spanish actor on being nominated in the category of Best Actor.
After his huge success, Javier continued working with the most acclaimed actors and directors, this time he made the movie called The Dancer Upstairs (2002), this movie was the directorial debut of actor John Malkovich. He won acclaim for his role as Agustín Rejas, a South American police detective devoted to hunting down an avant-garde guerilla leader. He returned to the Spanish movies as Santa, the so-called leader of a small group of employees who were discharged by the local shipyards, in Los Lunes al Sol(2002), for director Fernando León de Aranoa. The movie won 35 awards, including seven honors for Bardem, and also the movie got a academy award nomination for Best Foreign Picture.
In 2004, Javier perfomed his most memorable role in Mar Adentro, starring as Ramón Sampedro, the Spaniard who fought a 25-year campaign to win the right to end his life with self-respect, the actor received eight awards, including a Best Actor Venice Film Festival, a Best Lead Actor Goya, a Sant Jordi for Best Spanish Actor and a European for Best Actor, as well as several award nominations, including a Golden Globe nomination.
After this , Milos Forman chose Bardem to play a priest called Brother Lorenzo in the movie “Goya’s Ghost”, a film about the Spanish Inquisition. In this movie, Javier shared credits with Natalie Portman (Goya’s muse) and Stellan Skarsgard (Goya).
During this year (2007), Javier has been very busy. In March he presented a documentary produced by him called Invisibles, this movie talked about certain political, economics issues, etc. problems lived in poor countries.
Also, two important movies will be released this year: No Country for Old Men (2007), directed by the Coen Brothers and Love in the Time of Cholera (2007) directed by Mike Newell and based on the famous novel written by Gabriel García Márquez.
No Country for Old Men was exhibited for the first time at the Cannes Film Festival (May 2007), the movie critics agreed that Bardem’s performance as Anton Chigurh was the best. Even, there are many critics who think that this role could give Javier his second Academy Award nomination.
Javier Bardem has finished “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”(known as “WASP”-Woody Allen Spanish Project- or “Midnight in Barcelona”) directed by Woody Allen and filmed in Barcelona.
Javier was nominated for the third time for a Golden Globe, this time for his role of Anton Chigurh in “No Country For Old Men” and he finally got it.
Javier was nominated for an Academy Award for the second time.
Javier received the Academy Award on February 24th, 2008. This award made him the first spanish actor who has won an Oscar.