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Javier on Julia: 'The second I met her, I felt relaxed'

Wonderwall, Monday, August 2, 2010, 12:35pm (PDT)

By Molly McGonigle

Newlywed Javier Bardem is currently making the rounds for "Eat Pray Love," and the fiercely private actor is being surprisingly open (we think it's that wedded bliss). Wonderwall recently got the chance to catch up with Bardem at the press day for the new film co-starring Julia Roberts, whom he made giggle the entire time. Check out what the Spanish actor had to say about his "Eat Pray Love" character, working with Julia and playing such an emotionally evolved guy on the big screen.

How did you come up with how you would play your character?

Javier Bardem: I met Felipe in New York and I had this beautiful talk for three hours about everything. I saw him so attractive, intelligent, sweet. And then I wondered why they called me to play him. And then he blessed me and said, 'You can do whatever you want and I won't be disappointed.' But he was always in my head when I was doing it because he has this lack of weight that makes him, in my opinion, very interesting because he had been through so many things that he has figured out a lot of things. But he doesn't pretend to let you know that he has everything figured out.

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What is it like playing such emotionally evolved characters?

JB: Yeah I guess that's what we are paid for. We are a batch of liars as we try to connect with the characters that we only think we are related to in order to get you to believe.

Every character in this movie spends time figuring out how to eat and love. How do you figure out the prayer part for yourself?

JB: Yeah. But I think I would say my favorite line of all time is 'I don't believe in God; I believe in Al Pacino.' Which is I guess my God. And beyond that there are some other gods, which I respect as long as they respect me, which is a lot to ask.

What's it like playing English without a Spanish accent?

JB: I don't know. I think if we open this movie in Brazil then I can answer you. Because they will be able to realize how bad the accent was. But for you guys it works good, no? I don't know. I like the Brazil accent; it's softer than Spanish ... No, it's difficult to speak English with any accent.

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What was it like working with Julia Roberts?

JB: I always say that when you get to a set that's been together for three months, they have become a family. And I think that most of the weight is on the shoulders of the main actress. So when you get there late and you are the new kid in town, you are insecure for hundreds of thousands of reasons, especially when you are working in a foreign language. But just the second I met her, I felt relaxed, and there is an enormous value to feel like you are working with someone who is creative and generous, but also with someone who makes you feel like you are part of the journey. Especially when you are working with someone who is carrying the weight of the movie. Because if I was her, I would be selfish. It's not about anyone but me. Just kidding. She's just great.

Did you read "Eat Pray Love" and what did you think about it?

JB: I read it. And I think it has a lot of great points. And it's not just a woman's perspective because everyone is searching. Everyone experiences that. And I loved Felipe.

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