Javier Bardem is one of only a handful of actors who worked with Woody Allen and never tried to publicly dissociate themselves from Allen. Diane Keaton is another one, and Scarlett Johansson too. Bardem worked with Allen on Vicky Cristina Barcelona, a film which earned (his wife) Penelope Cruz an Oscar. Penelope is also a Woody Allen defender, although she keeps it vague enough (for the most part) so as to not get hit with “Penelope Cruz is ride-or-die for Woody Allen!” In 2018, Javier went on record saying that he has his doubts about Dylan Farrow’s story and that he believes Woody to be “innocent.” Well, now that Javier is promoting Being the Ricardos, of course he was asked about all of this again. I swear to God, it feels like this film is cursed from top to bottom. Some highlights from Javi’s Guardian interview:
He & Penelope cleaned house during the pandemic: “We gave [our things] to this church, where the priest indoctrinates with his own example, helping immigrants and people who have come out of jail. He made good use of the things we provided.”
On Desi Arnaz: “In 1930s Cuba, Desi was taught to constantly prove his male power, and that [machismo culture] is something I can relate to, for sure.”
A Spaniard playing a Cuban, just like he did in Before Night Falls. “It was a different time, right? But this is what actors do, we create other people’s lives. That can include origins or sexual orientation, accents and behaviours. I think we sometimes go too far in blocking the freedom of creativity by framing what an actor can and cannot do.”
On the situation with Woody Allen: “Pointing fingers at someone is very dangerous if it hasn’t been legally proven. Beyond that, it’s just gossip.”
How Rebecca Hall said she regretted working with Woody: “No, I haven’t seen Rebecca in many, many years. To tell you the truth, I don’t follow any of that, what people said. I try to go where logic dictates, which is: let’s follow the rules that exist to establish whether someone is guilty or innocent. If the case re-opens and he is proven to be guilty, I will be the first to say: ‘What a horrible thing.’ But so far, I haven’t seen that.”
He & Penelope credit Woody for getting them together: “Of course we credit him. He reunited us – lots of credit!” Did they invite him to their wedding? “No, no!” he laughs at the thought. “But I don’t think he would have come. I don’t know how sociable he is.”
Winning the Oscar: “When I won the Oscar, I felt great, but it didn’t make any sense. It was more: ‘Wow, what is this? I need to earn this now so they don’t take it out of my hands!’”
I’m sure the Amazon Studio people are just thrilled that Javier is happily defending Woody yet again. That being said, what did they expect? This isn’t coming out of nowhere, Javier has been saying this sh-t for years. Of course some journalist was going to ask him about it again. That being said, I’m getting really annoyed with all of the Ricardos promotion – no one involved with the film is really making a strong case for why this story, why these actors, why this film.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.