Skyfall villain Javier Bardem opened up about a memorable birthday experience with James Bond himself, Daniel Craig.
Alongside Craig, Bardem played the chilling villain Raoul Silva in Skyfall. Additional stars included Dame Judi Dench as M, Ben Wishaw as Q, and Naomi Harris as Eve Moneypenny. The film was a raging success. It won the Academy Award for Best Sound Editing, while the original song “Skyfall,” written for the film by Adele, won best original song. Director Sam Mendes, an Academy Award winner, went on to direct its sequel, Spectre.
Despite their onscreen animosity, Bardem and Craig got along famously. Additionally, the two celebrated their birthdays together. Bardem was born on March 1, 1969, while Craig was born on March 2, 1968. As a result, Bardem decided to have a little fun messing with his costar.
The villain-hero duo reunited for an interview with Vanity Fair during which Craig revealed an interesting aspect of the prank. Bardem was in drag.
“Coming out of a cake,” Bardem explained. “I was supposed to be the Bond girl that night, and oh, my God, I was. … I sang ‘Happy Birthday to You,’ my best Marilyn Monroe impersonation. When they told me to sing, I was like, ‘Are you sure of that? Are you sure you want me singing?’ And then I try.”
Sadly, the moment did not make it onto the blooper reel for the film, but the story is nonetheless iconic.
Bardem Reflects on Forgetting His Lines While Filming Sky-fall
While Bardem’s performance in Skyfall was unforgettable, his lines were, apparently. In another sit-down with Vanity Fair, the actor explains how excited he was to star in a Bond film. He was so excited, in fact, that he couldn’t keep his lines straight.
“There was a moment where I was shooting this scene on a crystal cell, and then I was supposed to say the lines. I got blank,” Bardem said. “I just realized that I’m in a f—— James Bond movie. It’s like, M and James Bond are looking at me, I’m the villain!”
After he regained his composure, Bardem was knocked off balance by a surprising source. While they were filming, Dench received a phone call. Normally, he would have been able to ignore the interruption, but her distinctive ringtone caught him off guard.
“The ringtone is [the James Bond theme],” Bardem continued. “It was, like, surreal. Like, ‘Really, that’s your ringtone?’ It was fun, but at the same time it is a dramatic scene, so it’s like, ‘Come on, guys, let’s focus.'”
Despite the distractions, Bardem was able to move one with filming the now iconic scene. He is widely regarded as one of the best Bond villains of all time.