Javier Bardem is an atheist: “I don’t believe in God, I believe in Al Pacino”

GQ has multiple covers for the October issue – a few days ago, I covered Denzel Washington’s cover and profile, and now here is Javier Bardem. Javi is promoting his work in Skyfall, the latest James Bond film, which will be out… let’s see… November 9th!! I can’t wait for it. It looks like a really, really great Bond film. The bar was set pretty low with Quantum of Solace, though. Would you like to see the latest trailer? We’ve seen most of it before, but they recut it for the international trailer, I guess. Here you go:

Javi is SO good at playing creepy. All you really have to do is put an awful wig on him, though. And all of sudden he goes from “hot Spanish dude” to “OMG serial killer”. Anyway, here are some highlights from Javi’s GQ interview. I didn’t know he was an atheist!

Javier Bardem on being in touch with his feminine side: “I was raised not to be afraid to show emotion or imagination…. I have a man and a woman in the same body; I have the male and female values in the same body. ‘Be a man’—what do you mean by that?”

On his performances and characters: “The fact that I like to make characters doesn’t mean that I like to watch my characters being made, my performance. I can’t even watch that f–king nose, that f–king voice, those ridiculous eyes. I can’t handle that. But when I’m doing it, I don’t see my nose or hear my voice; it’s like there’s something stronger, bigger than that. And I need to express it.”

He’s an atheist: “I’ve always said I don’t believe in God, I believe in Al Pacino.”

On how to persevere through tough criticism: “It’s the actor’s insecurity: One day you’re liked and the next it’s ah, nah, not that guy. My mom told me, ‘Just keep doing your job.’ You get something gold, thank you. You suck, thank you. You keep on moving.”

On being appreciative for what he has in life: “I’m happily married. I breathe and stay in peace. I truly thank whoever’s up there for giving me the opportunity to be loved.”

On the Spanish economy: “Many people I love and adore, who belong to my life, are going through a very horrible situation. The government raised taxes on paper and pencils. That’s f–king crazy. The middle and working classes are paying the debt that the financial markets created. A quarter of Spaniards are unemployed. One in ten families are completely out of work: It’s f–king dark, it’s brutal.”

On his political activism: “I’ve always belonged to the street, and I always will. It’s in my DNA. I don’t think about it. I’m really proud of this country: People say what they feel, until they’re heard.”

[From GQ]

The GQ piece also brings up some of Javi’s previous quotes about the Catholic Church, and it’s clear that he’s really not the biggest fan. He seems like a die-hard social liberal – pro-gay, pro-social equality, pro-feminism, etc. He also talks a lot about his childhood and stuff, which I just skimmed over – you can read the full piece here.

I LOVE this photo of him. He looks gorgeous here:

Photos courtesy of GQ/Nathaniel Goldberg.

 

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136 Responses to “Javier Bardem is an atheist: “I don’t believe in God, I believe in Al Pacino””

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  1. Eve says:

    Javier Bardem is an atheist: I don’t believe in God, I believe in Al Pacino”.

    Me neither. Though my personal “god” is someone else (Leonard Cohen).

  2. Cherry says:

    Ohh, Javi. How do I love thee. Is that him chewing on a piece of ‘jamón’ on the bottom pic? Ahh.
    Just one thing: why did they have to photoshop his face into Ewan McGregor’s on that cover photo?

  3. RocketMerry says:

    Whatever floats his boat.
    I for one would be so intensely floored with the discovery of the absecence of God that would probably lose all motivation in living.
    Humans are lovely creatures because they display variety, I guess.

  4. Amelia says:

    Anyone remember that Denny Duquette character off Grey’s Anatomy? I had to do a double take at the cover photo, he looks a dead ringer.

  5. Chattycat says:

    Javier Bardem is no Denzel Washington. Thank God.

  6. Audrey says:

    Oh, I love him even more now.

  7. dahlianoir says:

    Wait,wait! when did he get so hot ? and toned ? And hot ? *faints*

  8. marie says:

    is he really an atheist though if he says “I truly thank whoever’s up there for giving me the opportunity to be loved” .. I thought atheism is the belief in no deities? I mean I don’t care either way, it just seemed odd..

    Regardless of what he does or doesn’t believe, he is one of my favorite actors, and he looks good in these pictures..

    • Eleonor says:

      agnostic would be more correct: they believe in an entity, but they don’t have a particular church.
      As you’ve correctly said atheist means “without God”.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        He’s def. agnostic based on that statement. I would still hit it though.

      • Momo says:

        No, being an agnostic means believing that we don’t know either way – if there is a god or not – it is essentially unknowable. That means it’s entirely possible that there is a god, but we have no proof of it, but it’s equally possible that there is no god at all. Agnostics just don’t want to espouse or dismiss either possibility.

      • Arlene says:

        That is not what being agnostic means. Being agnostic means you cannot know for sure if there is a god or not. Which is technically true, however the notion of a deity is pretty unsupported so you can be agnostic-atheist becasue you can’t know, but don’t believe.

        * Gah Momo got there before me*

      • Eleonor says:

        @Arlene: I think atheism is a much more extreme position,an atheist refuses even the chance that there can be a god, or something similar. A lot of scientists are atheists.
        Someone agnostic is someone who accetps the idea of a God or of a superior entity, the idea that “there can be something else”, but an agnostic doesn’t have a codified religion like a catholic or a jew can have.

      • Lacie says:

        Just to set the record straight:

        Agnostics are not those who accept the idea of god but don’t have a religion; those people are called deists.

        An agnostic simply accepts the premise that no one can know.

        A hard atheist thinks god does not exist, and denies any existence of god, while a soft atheist accepts the premise that no one can know but also thinks that god is unlikely enough that they accept that as well, ie there most likely is not a god.

        Does everyone understand now?
        Theist: religious.
        Deist: non-religius but believes in a god.
        Agnostic: does not know.
        Soft atheist: does not know but does not believe in a god.
        Hard atheist: does not believe in a god.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        What Lacie said.

        Regardless, if you’re pointing to the sky and thanking someone “up there” you’re not an atheist by any stretch of the imagination.

      • Mazunte says:

        I agree with Lacie’s description. I’m an atheist, probably a hard one, but I frequently use expressions (in my mother language, which isn’t English) like, “for the love of god” or “thanks god” because these expressions are commonly used to express emotion in my country, even by atheists, and I was raised catholic (though I realized when I was 12 that I didn’t believe in god anymore).

        Maybe it’s the same for Javier. Spain is a catholic country, religion if part of the culture and traditions, but a huge percentage of the population is atheist, at least in Barcelona, where I lived for a year. All my Catalan friends or friends from other parts of Spain where atheists. However, expressions using “god” are pretty common in Spanish too.

        And BTW, in my opinion, he and Penelope are the hottest couple in the movie world, and Marion Cotillard and Guillaume Canet are the most beautiful one.

    • Lem says:

      Typically atheists don’t believe in God – as in dude created all in 7 days, resurrected, knocked up a virgin a gazillion years later…
      Doesn’t make them unbelieving, just unbelieving in the tale as told & the many concepts it perpetuates. GOD AS GOD so to speak. Doesn’t mean the don’t believe in something or even a higher power, just not God as such.
      Also- many agnostics will say atheists when it’s not technically what is meant. “Atheists” tends to get the point across whist “agnostic” often requires discussion – sometimes it’s easier to avoid that discussion- and atheist cuts it off

      • Christina says:

        There are a lot of people who believe in God but not the Christian view of him. Some people believe the “higher power” is God. It’s weird bc when I think of God I don’t even realize that some people may think I’m referring to the Christian concept of God.

      • pichounette says:

        Lem,
        As an atheist, I have to respectfully disagree. There is no ambiguity here. Atheists do no believe in any god of any form whatsoever, higher power or even the concept of god, period. But we respect the feelings of those who do believe.

      • Lem says:

        Yes. You are correct. Completely!! I do not disagree
        Many young, particularly here in the Midwest, admit to something closer to an agnostic belief system. Atheist is a more common term. Many learn ‘atheist’ as soon as they realize they don’t believe in God, then stick with the terminology even when it doesn’t quite fit their beliefs.
        Older atheists (after college age) tend to be hardened atheist, who know exactly what they mean. Many agnostics will at times use the term atheist, because it shuts down the conversation more quickly. Atheist and agnostic both also fill the void in terminology for those who believe in all sorts of things, yet not God, per say.

    • Jill says:

      Yeah, he completely contradicted himself there.

    • videli says:

      My husband’s an atheist (I’m not), and he would never refer to anybody ‘up there.’ Maybe Javi is indeed agnostic. But it could be a linguistic hang up peculiar to Catholic countries. I’m an Orthodox and in our case even the non-believers thank, curse, and appeal to God every other sentence.

    • chacha says:

      I think it’s more a cultural than a religious thing.
      Either way, ‘love him.

    • Mira says:

      @marie – He is not contradicting himself. He is an atheist. He said “truly thank whoever’s up there.” The emphasis is on “whoever.” It can be Al Pacino for all we care. It’s fuzzy because people are trained to think that up there is “God,” someone supernatural, divine and sacred. Bardem is not recognizing that someone up there as God. He is thanking the whoever. The whoever does not have a name, it’s undefined. If you are looking at Atheism solely around the “idea of God” or the term “God,” then you’ll find him contradicting. Otherwise, no.

  9. lizzi says:

    He seems so smart and adorable, and he is freaking hot. DO WANT!!

  10. Aiobhan says:

    I am a proud agnostic myself. Not necessarily the same thing, more like cousins. I really love his attitude about life as a whole. Oh, and he is very hot.

  11. Amy says:

    Would an American actor admit to being an atheist, maybe Sean Penn but otherwise American celebs all have to assure the public how much they love God.

  12. Mia 4S says:

    Yeah if he is thanking “whoever’s up there” he’s an agnostic, not an atheist.

    I dont know, if Al Pacino was my personal god I would have lost my religion after he appeared in that movie with Adam Sandler and Katie Holmes…and Gigli.

  13. KellyinSeattle says:

    Dear Lord (spoof), he’s so hot!

  14. TheOriginalKitten says:

    I love him. He and I need to make beautiful atheist babies together. Like, RIGHT NOW.

    *grabs coat and runs out door*

  15. Sarah says:

    I love him!!! But I was confused by his atheism stance and thanks to whoever is up there who likes him too.

  16. Mew says:

    He doesn’t believe in God but in Al Pacino, yet he thanks “whoever is up
    there” for things he has? Errrr….. ok.

    Why didn’t he say he thanks Al Pacino for all the things he has if he so believes in Al Pacino? And I didn’t know Pacino lived “up there” but good to know that too!

  17. bea says:

    I’d like to spend the rest of my days looking for this exact model! He is so fine, so Latin, so smart and six feet tall….

  18. andy says:

    Which Al Pacino does he believe in?

    The Dog Day Afternoon and Godfather version, or the Jack and Jill version?

  19. Lacie says:

    Go Javier. I still think you’re a real atheist. I know Al Pacino was just hovering slightly above you when you made that comment. Or maybe on the second floor.

    Anyway, I’m an atheist who sometimes says “thank god” or “oh god,” and I’m really not agnostic. It’s just that the brainwashing and indoctrinating I had as a child was THAT good ;) he does hail from deeply Catholic Spain after all. It’s a habit of speech.

  20. effy says:

    That second pic looks so much Jeffrey
    Dean Morgan. that one, i love!

  21. Shitler says:

    Can Not! Wait For This Movie! It looks amazing!
    #total bond geek!

  22. Arlene says:

    ‘Up there’ could easily refer to parents/grandparents that have died and gone before, or it could just be a cultural expression. I’m an atheist, I say ‘oh thank god, I found my keys’ and such because I’m Irish and that’s just what we say. I don’t actually believe in any gods, but culturally that is how I talk. I also say ‘Bless you’ when people sneeze.

    • Lacie says:

      THANK YOU! God-believers don’t understand that it is a habit of speech formed long before most of us realized what we don’t believe in.

      +1

    • Eve says:

      + 1.

      I have a Catholic upbringing, and I occasionally use god-related expressions. But they don’t really mean anything.

      I’ve been certain of my “non-believing” status since I was 14 years old — ironically, I realized that while attending a Catholic school.

      P.S.: I began questioning the existence of a god when I was 10 years old (right after my first communion ceremony).

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        I’m an atheist (born and raised) and for most of my life refused to say “bless you” or “thank God” but kind of gave up when I hit my late-twenties.

        I look at “Bless You” as a polite nicety. “Thank God” is more acceptable to say in a corporate environment than “Boo ya!”.
        I do it more for convenience/adherence to social norms. Meh.

        But I would NEVER point to the sky or refer to people “going to heaven” although I have used the expression “go to hell” on a few occassions ;)

        So what was my point? I don’t know…except that my atheism isn’t defined by the expressions I use, it’s a belief system, or should I say a NON belief system ;)

      • Eve says:

        @ Kitten:

        Being born and raised in Brazil, whenever I mentioned I was an atheist I got to hear the inevitable smart-assed reply’s “logic” — you know the one: “If you’re really an atheist, how come you use expressions like that?”.

        It was — and still is — annoying, to say the least.

      • videli says:

        Boo ya! Hehe, I got to use that more often.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        @ Eve-People actually give you crap for that? Lame.
        They’re expressions for a REASON-I don’t think they’re intended to be taken literally.

        If you said “I’m so hungry I could eat the ass out of a dead rhino” would they take that literally too? I hope not.

        Anyway, just because we’re not religious doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be allowed to utter religion-based expressions. That’s just silly.

      • Eve says:

        @ Kitten:

        Yes, they do. But trust me when I say this: that’s actually nothing compared to some of the other, worse crap I got (for being an atheist). The list is just too long to be discussed here.

        Plus, a couple of posts on this very thread f*cking ruined my day. So I’m off now.

      • aims says:

        I was raised conservative christian. I’m now agnostic. I am raising my children without religion. I remember as a kid, listening to madonna for the first time thinking i was going to hell. That guilt that was part of my childhood, I have refused to pass on to my kids. I choose logic and sanity every time.

    • RuddyZooKeeper says:

      Funny thing (or sad thing) is, there are those who call themselves Christians who use the same jargon and it has exactly the same meaning to them–none. (I try to live as a Christian, if that matters) Just comfort words or habit or what you’re “supposed” to say.

      So judge people by what they do, not by what they say. By how that act, not by how they look. By how they treat you, not by what you’ve heard about them. By how they make you feel, not by how you think you are supposed to feel when you are with them. … Or something like that. Meh. This comment section and all the niceness (not uncommon @ CB) has me all soft this morning.

  23. eric says:

    Never Liked him regardless of what he believes in, and God doesn’t believe in Javier Bardem

  24. Marigold says:

    Idk if he’s actually an atheist or an agnostic. It kind of sounds like the atheist comment was a joke given that Al Pacino isn’t exactly something someone believes in.

  25. Maritza says:

    They all say they are atheist but if their son or daughter were fighting for their life in a hospital, that is when you see them secretly praying for a miracle.

    • Eve says:

      I can assure you I did not pray for a miracle when I heard my mother had terminal cancer. Not once.

      I trusted (or hoped) medical science could do something for her, to make her not feel any (or not so much) pain and didn’t have to suffer through her remaining days.

      I knew she couldn’t be cured, not by science…even less by something that has no real evidence to support it. And now, while reading your post, I feel like you’re mocking the pain *I* felt when I lost her.

      Please, do not generalize — and even worse, call people here liars. That’s extremely disrespectful.

    • trillian says:

      Just because I would certainly hope that against the odds my loved one would survive, that doesn’t mean I believe in a divine being that could actually make that happen. I am not superstitious either but I carry good luck tokens to exams … it just gives me something to fiddle with and take my mind off being nervous.

    • Arlene says:

      Well, I’ve lost loved ones in my life and I didn’t pray to anyone. You’ve a rather odd view of what it means to be an atheist Maritza.
      I completely understand why a person of faith would pray, however, and I attend funerals and so forth out of respect for the person who has passed and for the family who remain.
      Frankly even if an atheist did pray for a loved one I would not judge them, but would hope to understand how traumatic experience affects everyone differently.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        You guys are fantastic. Seriously. I don’t even have to say a thing :)

        But I will..*snickers*

        @Maritza-I have never prayed in my life. NEVER. I’ve faced adversity-we all have at some point in our lives. That doesn’t mean we’re going to seek solace the way you do. It’s kind of insulting to say what you said because essentially you’re saying that atheism is inauthentic and that all non-believers will suddenly renounce their atheism when faced with hardship. Sorry to burst your bubble, but it doesn’t work like that. We draw strength from a different place than you, simple as that.

        Sort of like that saying “there are no atheists in a foxhole.”
        I always HATED that stupid trite saying.

      • Lacie says:

        What the kitten said. +1 to each and every non-praying non-delusional atheist who only looks to science, logic, and hugs to solve their problems.

        Now, Maritza, why don’t you ask us what keeps us heathens from going on crazy killing sprees, raping and pillaging everywhere? I’ve gotten that one a lot.

    • judyjudy says:

      Nope, no secret praying going on over here. Sorry to disappoint.

    • gee says:

      And every dying atheist has a plan B.

    • Lem says:

      @maritza:
      The nice thing about the basic tenement of Christian religion is – IF a non believer chooses to pray in their hour of need, they have been told your God will listen. It is iffy as to whether he will help, but the premise is He hears.

      I send out prayer all the time, although to the universe, to mother nature, to Thor or Zeus, to stars, to Luna, to my ancestors, the car gods, the keeper of lost items, Jim Tressel, the time fairy, my serenity bowl. Whatever. The nice thing about my religion is I can ask for help from anyone I deem important in the situation. I might ask Luna for the light to kayak down the river or Thor for water for my gardens. I need not be burdened by feeling petty by asking one omnipresent talisman for help with mundane tasks.
      In the mean time I thank Mother Earth for this glorious day. I listen to the wind. Thank the rains for holding off and pray to Ray to hold out just a little longer, so I can fit a run.
      I also thank my lucky stars tomatoes for all the atheists/ agnostics/ others here at CB. Religion quite often a very one sided discussion. Repeatedly here @ the b!itchy it is such an opened ended conversation. It is refreshing.
      Now, if people would stop asking me to bow my head at their weddings. I didn’t ask you to dance naked in the rain at mine ;)
      Namaste

    • Beatrix says:

      It makes me so happy that people are finally learning to think en masse, not just blindly follow. Cheers to all of you!

    • RuddyZooKeeper says:

      That was really ugly. Maybe you didn’t mean it that way, but didn’t anybody ever say anything to you about catching flies with honey? No wonder Christians are ridiculed. It isn’t for our faith. It’s because of the bullies and snots who decide to speak for the rest of us.

      I’m sorry, ladies and gentlemen. We aren’t all like this.

  26. Thea says:

    Strange when someone is lying there dying in a hospital or side of the road they yell for 2 people….Mama and God. Seen it a zillion times from any religion even a scientologist.

  27. Toni says:

    I love that man!!! What a breath of fresh air he is…talented, intelligent, humble…and as he is not confined to an organized religion – a free thinker!

  28. chloe says:

    I love Javier, but I question whether he used this quote with the reporter on this story, this quotes was in a story that came out years ago when he was first nominated for an Oscar Before Night Falls, he was talking about making it in America and how he was a huge Pacino fan and when Before Night Falls was released Pacino called him at his home in Spain, then he quoted that he was so excited that he didn’t believe in God but he believed in Al Pacino. I think a lot of these magazines like to steal old quotes from other publications and put them in their stories to spice them up. I’m a huge Javier fan and I’ve seen him asked about that quote and he pretty much just says how much he loves Pacino. But anyhow I’m glad to see him in a movie coming out soon, he doesn’t do enough of them.

  29. Dahlia1947 says:

    I know what he means by being male and female..

    He’s very fluid, and emotional, and he seems very open. I like that.

  30. mike says:

    It’s easier to digest his atheism if you understand his upbringing in Spain.

    There are many, many, many atheists in Spain not because of any innate hostility to Christianity per se, but because they can’t forgive the Catholic Church’s complicity in propping up the brutal Franco dictatorship.

    From anticlericalism, it’s very easy to slide down to atheism.

    That said, there are still many devout Catholics in Spain, but hostility to the Church and/or Christianity is also very real.

  31. Elly says:

    Is Javier the Spanish Jeffrey Dean Morgan” or is Jeffrey the “american version of Javier Bardem”?

  32. Adrien says:

    I used to believe in Al Pacino and say “hooah!” all the time until I saw Gigli. I started to question his existence. Then I finally became an unbeliever when I saw Jack and Jill.

  33. Me Too says:

    Why did they Photoshop the he’ll out of this beautiful man? They made him look almost abnormal on the cover. He has meat on his bones. Not fat but real. That cover sucks.

  34. I Choose Me says:

    Agnostic here but I don’t care if he’s an atheist, agnostic or wiccan. I love him. His voice does funny things to my lower half.

  35. anya says:

    Wowser- what an interview! I’m loving the Bardem

  36. Would Vincent Cassel Wear This? says:

    Yes. I believe Al Pacino exists too. I even have DVD footage to prove it. And other believers have even posted photos of him on the interwebs. Yes. There’s evidence a plenty.

  37. ramona says:

    I’m an atheist, too, and I believe in Radiohead.

  38. Gabriella says:

    Reminds me of the Diego Rivera quotation:
    I never believed in god, but I believe in Picasso.

  39. Stacia says:

    And I believe I see a horse on the cover of GQ magazine.

  40. Kate says:

    What a wonderfully intelligent, well-spoken, talented man. Absolutely adore him.