Skyfall’s Javier Bardem Had No Clue His James Bond Seduction Scene Was Almost Removed

Ten years ago today, the canon of James Bond movies was riding high on the blockbuster debut of Skyfall. The most financially successful 007 entry, and the celebration of the franchise’s 50th anniversary, it pitted Daniel Craig’s Bond against perhaps his most formidable foe: Javier Bardem’s Raoul Silva. While one of the most iconic encounters between these two sons of MI6 was almost cut from the film, Bardem himself was apparently unaware of that fact. 

When I had the chance to speak with Javier Bardem earlier this year on behalf of his appearance in the Sony film Lyle Lyle Crocodile, I couldn’t leave that room without at least one Skyfall story. So naturally, the nearly omitted Silva/Bond seduction scene from director Sam Mendes’ Bond movie extraordinaire felt like a good jumping off point, what with that moment taking heat from execs, but ultimately proving to be a memorable highlight of Daniel Craig’s 007 run.

After asking what his feelings were about the scene and its near deletion, Bardem was more than happy to share a lot of pleasant memories of his James Bond experience. Sharing his recollections with CinemaBlend, here’s what Javier Bardem remembered from this landmark Bond film’s production: 

I didn’t learn that they tried to remove it, I didn’t know about that. But I remember the feelings of reading it, and talking about it with Sam Mendes, and him being super open to bring things into the conversation. [I was] really having lots of fun with him on imagining that exchange of dialogue, selection, and relationship with Mr. Bond, and how to try and make him feel uncomfortable in the sense that he doesn’t know what’s going to happen next. While we were shooting it, it was a great experience as well, because Sam Mendes, Daniel Craig, and Roger Deakins. I mean, what else do you need? And Barbara Broccoli!

Recapping an overall James Bond experience like that, Javier Bardem clearly had the time of his life making Skyfall. That much was true off set as well, as Bardem previously shared a prank that he pulled on Daniel Craig during that intense production. So not knowing about the studio politics that almost robbed us of Raoul Silva getting nice and close to 007 isn’t that much of a stretch.

Also known by his true name, Tiago Rodriguez, Silva is still one of the best and most effective Bond villains in the entire canon of adversaries. Dramatically, he’s a figure that’s made one of the deepest cuts in James Bond’s armor, and the Daniel Craig years saw quite a few contenders for that honor. Comedically, Javier Bardem’s evil former agent is all the more lethal, as he’s not afraid to crack a joke about wasting good scotch just after killing an innocent bystander. 

This "tender" moment between 007 and his former brother-in-arms is the perfect crossroads between both of those tones. Ultimately, some of the people that Bardem celebrates for making his Skyfall experience so wonderful are the ones that made sure his moment of seductive prowess stayed in the final product. 

With Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson resisting the studio note to cut this well crafted moment, it was a win for history. Not only did the most successful James Bond movie get to push the envelope with humor, it also allowed for a moment where a queer reading of 007 history was actually encouraged in the text. Sean Bean's Alec and Pierce Brosnan's James Bond walked in Goldeneye so that Silva and Craig's Bond could run. 

If you check your listings carefully, you might still see Lyle Lyle Crocodile playing in a theater near you. Also, readers who want to relive the adventure of Skyfall on the occasion of its 10th anniversary can stream the film with a Prime Video subscription

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.