Early Skyfall reviews, while predominantly positive, have been unanimous in at least one way: The praise for Javier Bardem as 007’s nemesis, Raoul Silva. But did you know Bardem once had the opportunity to play the opposite side of the coin and wear James Bond’s tuxedo, himself?
During a recent one-on-one interview with Bardem on behalf of Skyfall, I took a shot in the dark and asked him if he’d ever been offered the role of Bond. The Oscar winner surprised me by confirming that he had, in fact, been offered the part a while back:
“Years ago, I was. I don’t remember what movie it was for. But yeah, it just was not that time. I didn’t feel that it was the time for me to do something like that. And also, I was doing something else, so I passed. This time, when I read it, I felt that it was very powerful material, and I wanted to join [a Bond movie]”
When I followed up by asking Bardem if he regretted the decision to pass on an opportunity to play 007, he candidly admitted:
“No. I have passed on many things that I could easily regret, but I don’t regret any of them, because that also gives room for something else to come that I’m proud of. Even if those things were not beautifully executed, those were the things that I believed in at the time.”
Bardem can believe in the power of Skyfall, which ranks as one of the best Bond films in recent memory … if not of all-time. It should please both die-hards and casual 007 fans who are looking for a thrilling popcorn adventure with important things to say about a classic character. And while we’re upset that we missed the chance to see Bardem with a license to kill, we can take solace in the fact that he’s one of the best villains Bond ever faced. Skyfall opens on Friday, Nov. 9.