Abdelmalek Alaoui attire l’attention de la DGED sur la « transcription jointe d’Interview de l’acteur Javier Bardem accordée à la chaine américaine (Publique) PBS hier ».
Il signale que « à partir de page 9 (passages surlignés), l’acteur expose sa vision du conflit du Sahara et indique qu’il est en train de préparer un documentaire. Il exprime également son souhait de voir l’Espagne soutenir « le peuple sahraoui » dans sa lutte contre le Maroc ».
Il demande que « traduction des passages soit effectuée » tout en signalant que « Bardem intervient désormais sur le dossier aux Etats Unis, ce qui risque d’affaiblir notre position aux USA. Il est urgent de définir une stratégie ».
Transcription de l’interview de Javier Bardem
Interview with Javier Bardem and Alejandro Inarritu of the new film, « Biutiful »
28 décembre 2010
PBS: The Charlie Rose Show
©2010 PBS. All rights reserved. Prepared by CQ Transcriptions, LLC.
CHARLIE ROSE, HOST: Welcome to our program. Tonight the actor Javier Bardem and the director Alejandro Inarritu talking about their new movie call_ed « Biutiful. »
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAVIER BARDEM, ACTOR: I am obsessed about portraying people that are loyal to a very hard circumstance, struggling with themselves in order to become better and to do less harm to others.
ALEJANDRO INARRITU, DIRECTOR: His nature, I think, there`s a moment where the character and Javier`s nature works, you know what I`m saying? So I saw that and I knew that he will be right for the part. And that was it and I was right. As you can see, I think, his work is monumental.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLIE ROSE: Bardem and Inarritu, next.
CHARLIE ROSE: Javier Bardem is here. He is, as you know, an Academy Award winning actor. Joining him later will be the Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. They have a new film called « Biutiful. »
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLIE ROSE: Bardem is known for his broad range and his intuitive and intelligent acting which allows him to inhabit his characters. Francis Ford Coppola has praised his artistic hunger and his drive to do something good with his work. In 2007 he won an Oscar for best supporting actor for his role in « No Country for Old Men. » Here`s a look at some of his other work.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Please, give me all the money you have on you. Do you have money here? Give me the money.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: You can take everything. You can stay here if you want.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: I have some friends that can solve this problem.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: What kind of friends do you have?
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: You know what kind of friends.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: What kind of friends do you have?
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Don`t go away.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Renaldo.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: I`m leaving. I`ll keep in touch with you.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: We have a name, don`t we?
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: We do now have a name.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: But so far there isn`t a manifesto. There isn`t a plan, there isn`t a spokesperson. We don`t have any clue as to who the leaders are.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: There isn`t an organization or a known h.q.?
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: There is only someone called Ezekiel.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: So what you`re saying is we don`t know what he or she is, who they are or what they want?
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: That`s right.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: I say heads or tails, and you have to say call it.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: I need to know what I stand to win.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Everything.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: How`s that?
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: You stand to win everything. Call it.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: All right. Heads, then.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Well done. Don`t put it in your pocket, sir. Don`t put it in your pocket. It`s your lucky quarter.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Well, where do you want know me to put it?
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Anywhere not in your pocket where it will get mixed in with the others and become just a coin.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: She always had problems with reality and I`m not going to get angry. I`m not going to get angry.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: OK, what did they say in our school? They said I was a genius, right?
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: I always encouraged your talent.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Not talent. I`m not talking about talent. I said genius — genius.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: I came close to killing for you.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: You came close to killing me, with a chair.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: I was defending myself and you had a razor and you were drunk.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLIE ROSE: Interesting actresses, wouldn`t you say?
JAVIER BARDEM: Yes, very interesting, great actresses.
CHARLIE ROSE: I would say so, I would say so.
So let`s talk about this film first tell me about it and why this character is so compelling for you.
JAVIER BARDEM: Well, there are many things going on in « Biutiful » characters because he`s a man who`s facing his end and that is something he knows must be very hard for everybody. And thank god I`m not in that situation. And we have to remind ourselves how grateful we are and how thankful we have to be for having the life we have.
CHARLIE ROSE: Indeed. But it is also a sense of what a good life ought to be.
JAVIER BARDEM: Yes.
CHARLIE ROSE: What is it that we ought to live for?
JAVIER BARDEM: I think for the others. As long as we live for the others there`s hope. When we are forced to live for ourselves and there is a lot of people in extreme situations where they can`t think about the others. They have to think about themselves how they go through to survive.
But in a normal situation where there are people not in those extreme situations I think hope is about being able to open to the others and think beyond your own needs and help the others. And this movie speaks about that.
CHARLIE ROSE: What do you like about him?
JAVIER BARDEM: He`s compassionate. He has strength of really facing himself and not giving up but is still trying to find the best out of himself.
CHARLIE ROSE: Probably the only lesson I suspect is to make sure you live today as if it might be the last day.
JAVIER BARDEM: Yes, I think that`s the most important of them all is to remind the people that you love how much you love him and maybe there`s not tomorrow, not for yourself but for that person that you were supposed to say how much that person meant to you. And I think the movie « Biutiful » speaks about that also.
CHARLIE ROSE: How much did your parents shape who you are today in terms of choices you`ve made?
JAVIER BARDEM: I would say a lot along with my friends. My mother has worked really hard in order to maintain dignity in a profession — actress — that when she was an actress in Spain with a dictatorship they were accused of being something less than an evil person.
I`m always saying that the parents of my grandparents were actors in a time when actors were not allowed to be buried on sacred land. So that`s how far my generation in the family of actors are coming from. And she talked to me about earning the place. Earning what you have through the work, through the respect, through the respect to others. And that`s something that I tried to do every day.
CHARLIE ROSE: If you look at some of those films that we saw and those characters that we played, do you see any rhythm there? Do you see anything that says —
JAVIER BARDEM: I seek out the rhythm. I seek out the rhythm. I see me 20 years going —
CHARLIE ROSE: « What was I thinking? »
JAVIER BARDEM: Yes. No, I guess what I see is a man trying to do the best he could without wanting to go to some place specific in terms of career.
CHARLIE ROSE: So it`s not a grand plan, but it is what? Just an attraction to the craft and —
JAVIER BARDEM: Passion and respect for having the chance to work when with others and that I learn in my family don`t have the chance to work in something that you love so much.
Everybody knows about actors because they are on the red carpets and they are on the covers of the magazine. But that`s the what, 10 percent? And 90 percent of them are unemployed. It`s a very hard job. So if you have a chance to work, work hard. Earn it, as my mother said.
CHARLIE ROSE: That`s one of the things she taught you. If you have the chance, don`t blow it. Give it everything you`ve got.
JAVIER BARDEM: Give it everything you`ve got and don`t think that tomorrow everything will be there for you. Don`t take anything for granted and don`t buy either of the gold or the failure because any of those are real. When they tell you how great you are, it`s as far away from the truth as when they tell you that you suck, you know?
CHARLIE ROSE: Yes. And you ignore both of those with the same kind of —
JAVIER BARDEM: It`s hard, I`m sure you know, it`s hard to put yourself detached from what the other people say about you. But it`s the only way to survive.
CHARLIE ROSE: Was time on a role which n which you said « I got it. I know what this is about »?
JAVIER BARDEM: No.
CHARLIE ROSE: No?
JAVIER BARDEM: No. There are certain roles where are important for the opposite. For going to a place where I said OK, I lost it, and I know what`s all this about, which is about every time you try to do something and you think you`ve achieved everything, then one new door opens and you see the vast immensity of the field you have to learn in the future.
So it`s not about I know what all this is about, it`s about I know how much I have to learn. And those are the most important jobs. And they are not necessarily the ones that are more well received by the people, the ones that are rewarded by the people or the awards.
CHARLIE ROSE: So you`re saying those that have been the most satisfying and/or challenging are not necessarily those that have been the most successful?
JAVIER BARDEM: Thank you for translating my words!
CHARLIE ROSE: For better or worse. Is there one that you loved that didn`t necessarily do so well?
JAVIER BARDEM: Yes, I remember « Love in the Time of Cholera » role.
CHARLIE ROSE: Because of the author.
JAVIER BARDEM: Because I was 12 the first time I read it and I read that book I don`t know how many times, and I was immediately — as many other millions of people — in love with that character. So I put a lot of hope and work but it didn`t turn out well.
CHARLIE ROSE: You are now leading man and principal character. How do you approach it? What is the process for you?
JAVIER BARDEM: It has to have some kind of an impact in you in order to say I am going to give something personal to it that`s going to be worth for the viewer to watch and for me to do it. Otherwise it will be just go there and deliver the lines, and that doesn`t make any good to anybody. Not to the viewer, not to myself.
So when you read the material, there is an impact and somehow then you feel OK, this is a feeling we have to. Do it`s not I want to do it, I have to do it. And that`s what happened with me — to me with « Biutiful. » Beyond the fear and insecurity of facing something that is so big, it was the desire of doing something that I couldn`t escape from doing it.
CHARLIE ROSE: You could not have said no to this?
JAVIER BARDEM: No, it was impossible and that implied a lot of fear because what Alejandro proposed, it was not a performance, it was a life journey for both of us.
CHARLIE ROSE: Explain that to me, it was not a performance —
JAVIER BARDEM: No, it was a life journey. There are roles where you go, OK, I know more or less how to deal with this from a very professional point of view. And there are certain roles, like this one, where you see how much I have to take off — how much I have to take things out of myself in order to get there. How much of a journey I have to do within myself in order to go to that place and being honest enough to do that role, because we`re not talking about a man who`s — we`re speaking about a man who`s going through a very strong journey to something very important for himself.
CHARLIE ROSE: Is it a series of problem solving in terms of how you approach him, what you can discover about him, how you feel inside about his own dilemma?
JAVIER BARDEM: Yes.
CHARLIE ROSE: What`s that about?
JAVIER BARDEM: That`s about how much of your vanity is in the game and how much of your humbleness, can you say, is on the game, because when you`re facing a character that has to go so deep in himself you are discovering layers and layers of yourself in it and insecurity usually makes you to put yourself in there in a way that doesn`t allow you to go through the really — through a real person you`re portraying.
In other words, it`s like a use the character to portray myself. And that`s not performing, that`s therapy. I do that with my therapist.
JAVIER BARDEM: Performing is to really be able to detach yourself from everything in order to go to the place that the character demands. Sometimes that place is very hard. And those are the actors I like. The actors you see they are not putting themselves in front of the character because they think they are more — they are worth to be listened and watched rather than the character they play.
CHARLIE ROSE: OK, so what you what you admire is when you see the character do what?
JAVIER BARDEM: I admire when the actors really puts himself in the place where he`s not there anymore.
CHARLIE ROSE: And the character overtakes him?
JAVIER BARDEM: Exactly, exactly. But we usually don`t do that because we are scared because he`s like in order to do that you have to be really naked.
CHARLIE ROSE: But you know that`s when you`re the best when you`re really naked and you can get there.
JAVIER BARDEM: Yes, but as we know in live when you`re in that situation it`s scary and it hurts, and we don`t want to do it.
CHARLIE ROSE: So how do you get there then?
JAVIER BARDEM: I don`t know. I`m still looking for it. But I guess there`s some other where you have to really take the risk and jump in.
CHARLIE ROSE: It has as much excitement and challenge as it has today than it ever has if not more?
JAVIER BARDEM: Yes, every time more and more, because the more I`m able to understand the character, the more I`m able to understand myself and the human race in total because in the end we are the same, we are all the same.
Of course, I don`t have anything to do with the psychopath of « No Country for Old Men, » but if you go there and you try to understand that mind you may see things about yourself that you didn`t want to see before so it`s kind of — I think one of the gifts of being an actor is to be able to recognize yourself in different places in order to complete yourself.
CHARLIE ROSE: You once said « I don`t believe in god, I believe in Al Pacino. »
JAVIER BARDEM: Yes!
I will say that until the day I die.
CHARLIE ROSE: Are you serious?
JAVIER BARDEM: Yes, what can I say about my god? I don`t believe in god, nibble Al Pacino. Why is that? Because he has done so much for me indirectly. I don`t — he didn`t know what he was doing, but through his performances, through his style, through his respect to the craft, through his compromise with the work has helped me to love my job in a way that nobody has, because, at his age, after doing all the amazing marvelous thing he is has done as an actor, he`s still working. He`s a man of work. And that`s —
CHARLIE ROSE: On stage every night in « Merchant of Venice. »
JAVIER BARDEM: Here you go, for example.
CHARLIE ROSE: At his age. Do you study his films? Do you look at him and watch it and say how did he do that?
JAVIER BARDEM: I say, how in the world does he do that? Yes. The other day I was watching « Serpico » for the 50th time.
CHARLIE ROSE: « Serpico » for the 50th time.
JAVIER BARDEM: Yes. And he`s there so young doing so risky things being that young and I think how — I mean, how brilliant is that? When he did « Dog Day Afternoon, » that`s amazing. How in the world he could do that when he was 30 years old. I have been 30 years old, and I didn`t do that.
CHARLIE ROSE: And it wasn`t that much later that he did « Godfather » was it?
JAVIER BARDEM: No.
CHARLIE ROSE: « From Dog Day Afternoon » to « Godfather. »
JAVIER BARDEM: Yes. And here you go, what a performance.
CHARLIE ROSE: And that`s the kind of life you aspire, the life in theater and film. And theater means as much to you as it does to him, do you think?
JAVIER BARDEM: No, because I`m more scared than he is, I`m sure.
CHARLIE ROSE: More scared of live?
JAVIER BARDEM: More scared of stage. More scared of theater. I`ve done very little theater in the beginning. I haven`t done much theater and I know that I want to go there and I put myself on stage.
But in order for me to do that out of insecurity I need to be protected by a good material with a good director that will allow me to be relaxed and confident.
CHARLIE ROSE: When you say « I`m scared » or when you see him, is that part of the creative juice that serves you so well, to be scared of things so that only if you fear can you rise to the occasion.
JAVIER BARDEM: Totally. But I think I`m learning now that you have to be careful with that because there is an amount of fear that serves as an oil, helps you to keep moving forward. But there`s a good amount of fear that blocks you from doing things.
CHARLIE ROSE: Right, right, right.
JAVIER BARDEM: And that`s the legacy of knowing what`s the limit.
CHARLIE ROSE: What is the most important thing to allow you to access the things that you might be fearful of exposing?
JAVIER BARDEM: I would say love.
CHARLIE ROSE: Really? Love for the character? Love for the —
JAVIER BARDEM: Love for the —
CHARLIE ROSE: The story?
JAVIER BARDEM: I know it`s going to sound very `60s, but love for you, my friend. Love for everybody. Love for the human race. What I mean is love for the people, because I like people and I believe in people and I still trust in people, including myself.
I do this job otherwise I would have done something different because I am obsessed about portraying people in are going through a very hard circumstance struggling with themselves in order to become better and to do less harm to others. That`s what inspires me and that`s what I look for when I read material, when I read a script.
And there`s a moment where you have to really give up, when you have to really give of yourself and give up yourself and give all of yourself to something in order to remind us that there is hope that we can see each other and we can help each other and we can thank each other for being just us.
CHARLIE ROSE: Your love for your country is deep.
JAVIER BARDEM: Yes.
CHARLIE ROSE: How is your country doing?
JAVIER BARDEM: Ooh, what a question. It`s hard. Economically it`s very hard. I`m not a professional or an expert, but it`s very hard —
CHARLIE ROSE: But you are passionate about politics?
JAVIER BARDEM: It`s not about being passionate, it`s impossible to be detached from politics. Everything we do is politics. I don`t drive, as you know.
CHARLIE ROSE: I know.
JAVIER BARDEM: But every time you put oil, you put gasoline in your car, you`re doing a political statement.
CHARLIE ROSE: Exactly.
JAVIER BARDEM: So the situation now is.
CHARLIE ROSE: The political statement is I`m doing damage to the —
JAVIER BARDEM: Exactly. And you`re supporting the oil big empires in the world that some of them are doing really hard.
But what I`m saying is Spain is a great place to live. People in Spain is — it`s very politicized. Politics in Spain is — unfortunately, my point of view, too much present in the daily life, in the conversations, on the street. Everything that is done in Spain is seen through a political perspective.
And I don`t think that`s very good to the people, because the people really want something else, which is to have time to relax, enjoy. We are Spaniards, you know how we are. We want to have fun and have a good meal and speak with the friends.
But the last 15 years I think everything so focused on what one says and how the other react from political terms that it`s affecting the people too much I think.
CHARLIE ROSE: Is there a story about Spain you want to tell?
JAVIER BARDEM: I`m producing a documentary about the western Sahara, the western Sahara, which is a colony from Spain. And when Franco died, Spain retreated the troops and left the colony alone by themselves.
And then the Moroccan government the Moroccan soldiers took that colony of ours and laid themselves there and say it`s from Morocco. And 35 years later, they`re forgotten in the middle of the dessert and some of them the occupied Sahara, which is western Morocco. They`re being tortured and imprisoned and their rights have been totally blacked out.
And I`m doing a documentary on that because the society in Spain is supporting that people in a big way. But no government from all these 35 years has had the guts to face Morocco and say « That is wrong. » And Spain is a key country in that, as much as United States and France.
CHARLIE ROSE: What else should Spain be prepared to do for those people?
JAVIER BARDEM: Support in the European community and the United Nations. The right of Sarahawis to get independence from Morocco, which is something that the United Nations and Europe parliament agreed, I think it was year `75, `76.
So it`s like the international community is saying yes, they have the right to be independent, but because France, United States, and Spain are scared of Morocco, or they need Morocco for their own interests, they are not pushing them, they are allowing Morocco to do and to harm people and sometimes to really break the elemental human rights of the Sahari people and they are not condemning what they`re doing.
So Spain, France, and the United States should really go to the government, the monarchy of Morocco and say « This is not right. We have to put people here, Human Rights Watch, and see what`s going on and work for a peaceful solution. »
CHARLIE ROSE: Do you have a prime minister who`s listening?
JAVIER BARDEM: No.
CHARLIE ROSE: Not yet.
JAVIER BARDEM: Not yet and I don`t think he will ever. It`s not about right or left, it`s about the governments of Spain and the presidents — no one seems — no one has ever had the guts to face that problem, and they all want to put their back to it.
But a few weeks ago there was a huge parade in Spain, thousands of people saying to the government « enough » because Spain has citizens, they have a very strong relationship with the Sarahawis.
CHARLIE ROSE: Were you there?
JAVIER BARDEM: Yes.
CHARLIE ROSE: In the streets?
JAVIER BARDEM: Yes, that`s very common in Spain.
CHARLIE ROSE: Yes, I know. I didn`t know whether you were out making a movie.
JAVIER BARDEM: I was on the streets at the time. It is for a parade or for a drink.
CHARLIE ROSE: Can you imagine going into politics?
JAVIER BARDEM: No. Me? No, no, I can`t. Sometimes I`m very criticized because I spoke against something or for something, and I said, man, I`m a citizen, and I have the right to speak out loud.
CHARLIE ROSE: Remember you and I had a conversation not last time but the time before that about America, the war, Iraq. Have you changed in —
JAVIER BARDEM: And those things that I call now the massive destruction weapons. Not destruction but distraction. I mean, they really put it will attention to something that doesn`t exist and we kill a lot of people in there.
CHARLIE ROSE: But it seems to be winding down at least and then sometimes it seems not to be because of sort of conflicts among parties within Iraq.
JAVIER BARDEM: Exactly. And the things are moving forward and how easy we forget and how easy we forgive. And this triangle of Blair, Bush and Aznar, they decided to do horrible things and bomb and destroy a whole country in the name of something that doesn`t exist.
CHARLIE ROSE: Blair, Bush, Aznar are no longer in power.
JAVIER BARDEM: Yes, but they are doing classes in universities.
CHARLIE ROSE: Meaning they`re teaching.
JAVIER BARDEM: Yes, and I wonder if they should be on trial for doing what they did, because they killed innocent people in the name of something that doesn`t exist. And that`s — I mean, I`m not an expert, I`m not a politician, but I`m a citizen. And I am still years later amazed at how easy people go away with major, major crimes. And that was a huge crime, I think.
CHARLIE ROSE: Do you think better about the United States under new lead leadership?
JAVIER BARDEM: I do. But it`s hard. It`s a very hard mad situation in the world now about economics. And I think it`s because we created this political — this politic statement based on economics and only economics.
So the social aspect of the politics now is totally lost, and they are trying to come back to it but it`s impossible. It`s like the train has gone so fast based on economics that we are facing what we are leaving behind which is a lot of social issues that haven`t been taken care of, nor in the States, nor in Europe, nor in Spain. And that is creating a lot of unemployment, a lot of insecurity in people.
CHARLIE ROSE: Are these things you want to make films about?
JAVIER BARDEM: Yes, I think « Biutiful » speaks about how much — I mean, how many of that people we create their misery based on steeling their own countries and going there and really poaching our style in order to steal what they own. Those people are trying to come to our countries to make a dignified living, and how much we put them away.
But now that they are here, we`ll take ,advantage and we pay less to them and sometimes we make them slaves.
CHARLIE ROSE: Where are they coming from?
JAVIER BARDEM: In « Biutiful » they`re coming from Senegal, for Sub-Sahara. And some of them also are coming from China. But I think it`s a very strong social aspect of it. I mean, the movie doesn`t talk about that only, but that background, I think, makes the movie very powerful and very important and worth watching.
CHARLIE ROSE: Do you think being a father will make you even more — even more passionate about the future?
JAVIER BARDEM: The future is there. I don`t know about the future, I think about the president, really. It`s about if we are too concerned about what`s going to happen next, we lose here and now. And next is going to be based on what we`re doing now.
CHARLIE ROSE: We will introduce Alejandro, but before he comes out, just tell me what he is as a director.
JAVIER BARDEM: He is a hard worker.
He is a hard worker.
CHARLIE ROSE: And makes his actors work hard, too?
JAVIER BARDEM: Exactly. He`s a man who wants to go to the bone of it. And he found another man who wants to go —
CHARLIE ROSE: To go with him.
JAVIER BARDEM: Exactly.
CHARLIE ROSE: So it`s a working combination.
JAVIER BARDEM: Exactly. So somebody should stop us. Somebody should say « Stop it. »
CHARLIE ROSE: No, we should encourage you is what we should do.
Back in a moment. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLIE ROSE: We continue our conversation joined by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu who directed « Biutiful. » He is an acclaimed Mexican writer/director who films include 21 grams, and Babel. A.O. Scott of « The New York Times » has said « His filmmaking is characterized by sheer reckless ardor and a faith in cinema as a universal language. »
I am pleased to have him join us here for this conversation about « Biutiful. » Welcome.
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: Thank you very much.
CHARLIE ROSE: Now you heard what he said about you.
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: Yes.
CHARLIE ROSE: What would you say about him system?
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: And we have some things to talk about after. Mexicans, you know, we don`t forget easily.
CHARLIE ROSE: You don`t forget that? You were expecting more or something different?
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: No, I think nothing. I think after we went through this journey I think we get such an intense process that he can say whatever he wants for me. He has a right.
CHARLIE ROSE: So that`s what you wanted to do, find an actor that you thought was right and go on a journey?
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: Yes, I think most of the films that I have done are emotional journeys. Not only what they are about —
CHARLIE ROSE: Well, you found the right guy.
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: But this guy is really keen to that. He`s addicted to emotion, like a junky, an emotional junky.
CHARLIE ROSE: Indeed.
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: And we both shared that. I think a lot time ago we were looking to work together and began to write this character with him in my mind.
CHARLIE ROSE: You wrote it with him in mind? You can see him as the created the dialogue and the scenes?
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: The character presented to me in « Biutiful » was a character that I immediately recognized as a very complex, contradictory person. And having known Javier, I know — I knew that it would be perfect for him.
So honestly it began totally say build these suits, tailor for him specially. Taking the risk of could have been rejected because I didn`t know if he would like it or not, but I told him, you know, maybe one year and a half before he says I`m writing something for you. And then I present it to him, and thankfully he accepted.
CHARLIE ROSE: And what did you want from him beyond the journey?
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: Basically what I look for — when I offer a role to somebody, in this case I`m looking for truth-ness, you know what I mean? It`s not about the skills, it`s not about the craftsmanship, it`s not about nothing more than to get this to a level of truth to imprint these characters with that. And I demand that, and to get that is very difficult.
CHARLIE ROSE: And so — and what`s your responsibility to get that other than simply choosing him and having written the script?
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: Well, I think that`s one of the biggest responsibilities.
CHARLIE ROSE: Write the words?
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: Write it down first. Write it right that has some meat and soul and that is — that has some gravity, that has something that the actors can be attached to. And then leave the decision who have is going to be offered that, to give that gift you are offering somebody that if you commit a mistake there then there`s no way back.
And that`s the first decision which I knew I was right because there was no way that in « Biutiful » the skills of Javier are there.
CHARLIE ROSE: You knew that from his performance bus did you also know that from the man you knew?
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: Completely. His nature, I think, there`s a moment where the character and Javier`s nature were converging. I saw that and I knew that he will be right for the part. And that was it and I was right. As you can see I think his work is monumental and that`s fantastic.
CHARLIE ROSE: He said about this, Javier, he said « I was never interested in making a movie about death but a reflection in and about life when our inevitable loss of it occurs. » So this is about life.
JAVIER BARDEM: Yes. You said yesterday that you see life from death. Like sometimes we`re saying before sometimes we have to face death in order to realize about life, the life we are letting go we are passing by without paying attention.
CHARLIE ROSE: Makes us understand a good life?
JAVIER BARDEM: Yes.
CHARLIE ROSE: What brought you to the story?
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: You know, I think it`s a mysterious process, but I guess there was some poem of a Mexican poet which is very short but very impressive. It was a musical piece from Ravel who set the tone, the concerto piano number three.
And I think that in this stage of my life, having father who`s now ill and I have a deep relationship and having fear of losing him since I was ten years old, and now being a father of two kids and confronting myself with those thoughts, I think those are things that really — this film is really — and dealing with some of the bipolar disease and things on a very unfortunate level in different areas of my life, all those things for me are close, has been close to me. Not in an autobiographical way but in I have to leave them and I have gone go to that about love and, you know those things really impact me.
And the immigration as a subject is something that —
CHARLIE ROSE: Immigration?
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: Yes, all this labor, you have the 21st century which is these immigration problems that is not about Barcelona. It`s about the south of this country, the north of my country in Asia, everywhere. So this illegal condition of these guys make slavery now legal. And that`s really something that we have to bring urgency to.
CHARLIE ROSE: You`ve described it as a great oak.
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: Yes, yes. My old oak tree.
CHARLIE ROSE: Your old oak.
JAVIER BARDEM: That`s beautiful, huh?
CHARLIE ROSE: Isn`t that great?
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: It`s always when my father was measured. When I was a kid I was measuring with my father trying to see when I will be bigger than him. And when we were close, always my father said, like, feel the old oak, like still, as a joke.
CHARLIE ROSE: He would say to you I`m still the old oak.
I`m still strong. So I always remembered that. He`s still the old oak. No matter if he`s a little shorter now.
CHARLIE ROSE: You`ll always look up to him.
Now you can hear — the character can hear the dead. What`s that about?
JAVIER BARDEM: Well, I guess that`s about being that it`s a little bit more of awareness, the gift he has of knowing what`s behind the death itself gives him more awareness of how important it is to leave his world in peace. It`s one more key role in the movie for him to be aware.
CHARLIE ROSE: And it connects the dead and the living.
JAVIER BARDEM: Yes. But in a way it`s written and the way we play it is very low key because the real ones are real low key. Only the fake ones do a lot of gestures and crazy things, but the real ones are more subtle. Actually they are prisoners of their own gifts. They deal with those gifts they have in a very subtle way.
CHARLIE ROSE: Do cultures differ in the way they look at death?
JAVIER BARDEM: I think so.
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: I think so, yes. Yes. I think at least in Mexico I think there`s a kind of a celebration almost. We take it as a process.
CHARLIE ROSE: Which is what I think it ought to be.
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: It`s integrated. There`s cartoons about it, there`s the famous skeletons and there`s a tradition of that. There`s the dead day, and it`s an integration.
I think — particular I think Latin cultures embrace better that. I think in some other territories I think especially there`s more like a phantom- phobic culture, to find that thing to be explored, it`s like a bad taste in your mouth. You don`t want to deal with that. And it`s funny for me.
But it`s good to talk and kill people, but in a cool explosion and a good fashion. That`s very funny.
And that`s millions, you know, blockbuster. They kill 25 in four scenes. Nobody cares about that. That`s funny. And video games, they get to the kids to play these video games to kill anybody.
CHARLIE ROSE: Killing is a way of keeping score.
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: That is a good way to embrace death. But not talking about the humanized way. I found that very scary.
CHARLIE ROSE: There is the scene with the owl, about the owl. That came from your daughter?
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: Yes. It was a line of my daughter, we were walking and suddenly she said « Father, do you know that when an owl dies it speaks through a ball of hair through the beak. » And I was really shocked by that image and I couldn`t understand why, and it reminded me about when he dies he gets the flower at the last day of the life.
So I thought it was a good metaphor to express how this guy has went through this intoxication of himself, to clean himself before to really get into the other world. I found that it was very beautiful.
CHARLIE ROSE: It`s also about fatherhood.
JAVIER BARDEM: I think the heart of the movie is the relationship he has with those two kids and the legacy he was for those two kids because he realized that beyond milk and bread they also need to be fed some other things, which are ethics, values, hugs and kisses. That is important, right?
CHARLIE ROSE: He`s a romantic character.
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: He`s a romantic guy.
JAVIER BARDEM: I look like a monkey, a gorilla with my broken nose, but I have a romantic heart.
CHARLIE ROSE: I thought about calling this film about Barcelona. Uxbal is the character.
CHARLIE ROSE: Let`s take a look at a scene. Here it is. Roll tape.
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CHARLIE ROSE: We were just talking about voice and the way he was talking to the kids, and I learned to appreciate that while we were watching that clip. And you said « the voice never lies. »
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: You know, when I`m directing and suddenly if I`m trying to get something that is not happening or the way I have — the way I have my better or best way to detect a lie in a performance, if I`m feeling something wrong and I am not getting what I need and I don`t know exactly what`s going on because the maybe the performance and the things are right, but I don`t understand what`s going on, I just close my eyes and I hear the actor or the actress, and I don`t want to see it but just hearing it I can find if they are lying, if they are not there.
CHARLIE ROSE: You understand that?
JAVIER BARDEM: Yes, yes.
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: Is it not true?
JAVIER BARDEM: It`s totally true.
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: You can pro tend but the voice, there`s a way that you can`t use it.
CHARLIE ROSE: And you asked for retakes of a scene because you didn`t think that the voice was where you wanted it?
JAVIER BARDEM: I hate my voice.
CHARLIE ROSE: You do?
JAVIER BARDEM: Of course! Doing retakes because everything —
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: Your English is horrible but it`s not that.
It`s not your voice.
CHARLIE ROSE: Do you have insecurity about your voice?
JAVIER BARDEM: I think we`ll be — we`ll take less time to tell about what I`m not insecure about, OK?
OK, let`s talk about that. We should get this guy —
CHARLIE ROSE: You and I could talk, right?
JAVIER BARDEM: Penelope can join us.
CHARLIE ROSE: What do you want us to walk away with in this film.
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: I think the thing is for me at least when I`m working a film that it took me three, four years to put together I tried to see it as a little bit more than entertainment. To entertain people you can find a clown and they will entertain for two hours but I hope that a film not only is entertainment, that`s for sure. If people will get me two hours of their life, I have to not only entertain but I will love that the film can explore different territories, and, if possible, give you a sheet to create an emotional catharsis, provoke thoughts, emotions, and shake some preconceptions of things that you want to bring to the table, not pointing, not preaching, just to shake the tree and expose these stories and characters to bring ideas, emotions, and put the people in a stable territory that they didn`t know and they are uncomfortable in a way but at the same time soothe and love and to have an experience, then I think that the film is not just an entertaining piece but it`s a little bit more, I will say. They provoke something and that`s what I think art should be doing. That`s my job.
CHARLIE ROSE: And that`s the reason you became a filmmaker.
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: I`m a filmmaker. But I take by telling stories the juxtapositions of images and sounds.
CHARLIE ROSE: But all that resonates with you?
JAVIER BARDEM: We`re bound to work together. And I was saying before you were hardworking, and that doesn`t mean anything bad.
I was saying that because you work hard and you want to go to the bone and there is no way you can do « Biutiful » without going to the bone. And the viewer I think will have an experience, as you say, that goes beyond entertainment but also a personal journey.
And I think the reward after watching the movie is going to be big because it`s about bringing empathy, compassion to yourself and to the others. And that`s something that not many movies can do, which is bring you to a place which is about emotion. Not about judgmental thoughts but about feeling it, feeling the experience of knowing that there are things in life that are important not to lose ever, but in an emotional way.
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: Yes I think that this is a film that for the first time I`ll dealing with the tragedy. It`s not a drama. It`s a genre that I have never touched with a metaphysical element and with a social commentary approached in a very imperialistic way.
But at the same time what Javier is saying is true that for me there`s an immediacy reaction. People will not be indifferent to this film. I promise that. Now I guess that you sometimes can go in or not go into a film and that`s the right of it.
But if you let yourself go in, and you scratch a little bit on the service and the obvious reaction of people at some time they find it very emotional or this bleak or dark or reductive adjectives to give to a film that sometimes put you in uncomfortable position, I have found and I discovered that not all beauty is beautiful. That sometimes beautifulness or real beauty has to be found in ways and places that are not obvious and you can — you have to look a little deeper. And even when they are not beautiful in the way that we understand things are much more meaningful and profound and much more full of life. And that`s what it is for me.
CHARLIE ROSE: Did you guys have this kind of conversation about it?
JAVIER BARDEM: Every day for 10 hours.
CHARLIE ROSE: So this is not new to you to hear this kind of dialogue?
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: I have to say that we have to say we have a pretty lot of conversations to plan the whole thing.
CHARLIE ROSE: Critical conversations?
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: Yes, because I think the preparation and the things that we share in the beginning of the journey was very well thought, I think. I think there was a lot of planning and to see all the periods of these characters, because it`s a difficult one. You have to design it in a very precise, meticulous way so it looks very natural but everything is completely predesigned and a lot of work behind that.
CHARLIE ROSE: This reminds me of Penelope and Pedro, yes?
JAVIER BARDEM: Of the work, you mean?
CHARLIE ROSE: Yes, the kind of collaboration.
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: But he is not as beautiful as Penelope.
JAVIER BARDEM: No, but I guess it`s impossible to compare one to the other. But this is like what you were saying. I`m always remembering what you told me about climbing the mountain. I don`t climb mountains, I don`t know about that. But I guess when you do that the mountain is high and tough, there are many stages that you`re going through until you climb the top.
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: And we were attached. We had the rope. And there was some times that it was very rough and very cold and emotionally and physically exhausting for him and for me. We were kind of — it was difficult. It was intense.
CHARLIE ROSE: Music is important to this film.
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: Yes.
CHARLIE ROSE: Not only Ravel, but —
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: I think again to have the privilege to work and with my team, with all my family, you know? And I think that in this case it was one the most difficult films to find the right music, the right voice.
And after 200 tracks we ended up with seven. There will be a c.d. that we`ll call « Biutiful » and the other side will be « Almost Biutiful, » most of the tracks were good but they didn`t work. I think the DNA of what was done is, again, hits the right chords in the heart.
CHARLIE ROSE: The film was shot in Spain.
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: The film was shot in Barcelona in all these neighborhoods that are fantastic and beautiful. Basically all the — it`s written, directed, produced, and photography, the production designer did the key elements of the film we are Mexicans. It`s a co-production, so it`s a Mexican film with all the rights.
Funnily enough, Spain selects the film to represent Spain which is shot in Bolivia with the leader of that fame. So it`s a funny thing that in the 200 years of celebration of independence of those countries, cinema are proving that it`s interdependence and building bridges. And it`s very funny that both films were represented differently, you know?
CHARLIE ROSE: I want to go out with a scene from this film. So both of you tell me, if you wanted somebody tonight to see one scene in this film that would define it for you — and I know there are many — but help me select a scene.
JAVIER BARDEM: I would select one of my daughter and me at home where we leave ourselves a huge very strong hug to each other because that`s for me where I think the movie explodes to a different level in an emotional way.
CHARLIE ROSE: I`ll take that.
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: He`s the best. He`s the best.
CHARLIE ROSE: Great to see you again.
JAVIER BARDEM: Thank you very much.
ALEJANDRO INARRITU: Thank you very much.
CHARLIE ROSE: The film is « Biutiful, » opens December 29, an extraordinary story.
Thank you for joining us for this hour. See you next time.
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