Javier Bardem says he hopes for ‘Dune’ sequel – San Sebastian – Deadline
Black comedy in Spanish by Fernando León de Aranoa The good boss had its world premiere last night at the San Sebastian Film Festival in front of a noisy local crowd (albeit at half capacity due to Covid measures).
The audience-friendly film sees Javier Bardem playing Blanco, a charismatic but controlling factory boss who will do everything possible to protect the world he created for himself and to end his relationship with the interns exposed to his wife.
The role is demanding for Bardem, but he carries the narrative by delivering a nuanced and engaging performance, filling virtually every frame with subtle charm – it’s a part that is already receiving rave reviews after the San Sebastian premiere.
Mediapro Studio CEO talks about Spanish festival titles Buzzy “Official Competition” and “The Good Boss”, English production relocation, updates on Woody Allen’s upcoming film – San Sebastian
This is the latest collaboration between Bardem and director Fernando León De Aranoa, following their films Loving Pablo and Mondays in the sun.
Deadline sat down with the couple in San Sebastian to talk about creating Blanco’s complex character, while the actor also tells us about his hopes for another Dune movie.
The good boss is produced by The MediaPro Studio and will be released in Spain on October 15th. It will then be screened at film festivals in Zurich and London. Mk2 Films manages international sales.
DEADLINE: What was the inspiration for Blanco’s character?
FERNANDO LEÓN DE ARANOA: It’s not based on just one person, or someone I know. It’s based on several different little stories that came to me, I heard of someone who had this kind of situation in their workplace, with their boss going too far in the personal relationships of their workers.
The first thing that came to my mind was the main character, the boss [boss] himself. I thought of this person who takes care of everything in his business. On the one hand there is the humor, the funny situations where he tries to manage the personal relationships of his workers – even if in the end he goes too far – and then something that seems important to me today, the subject personal relationships and professional relationships and how they interact, when our professional life gets too far into our personal life.
DEADLINE: Have you always thought of Javier for the role?
LEÓN DE ARANOA: At one point, yes. For me, it’s hard not to have it in mind, we work a lot together, we have a good personal relationship. Sometimes it’s hard for me to think of someone else. I want to have the pleasure of working with him, and I know he will improve what I wrote on the paper. It was actually two years ago here in San Sebastian that I gave him the first draft and offered him the role.
DEADLINE: Javier, the role looks like a lot of fun. You are in almost all settings. Did you have a good time in character?
JAVIER BARDEM: Yes. In order to enjoy the process, you have to do your homework, so that you feel free, released enough to enjoy it. Making a film is not a natural flow, it is always interrupted by something: the timing, the lighting, the makeup, the clothes. The concentration he demands is enormous. The main thing, as always, is the material. If the material is rich enough to play with, then you will have fun. If not, the actor will mostly find himself trying to fill in the gaps in his performance. Here, the material was like clockwork. It gives you the confidence to get started.
DEADLINE: You certainly inhabit the character of Blanco. A Spanish speaker told me that your speech was also quite peculiar, that they really noticed a difference in the way you spoke your lines. How did you get into this headspace?
BARDEM: We [me and León De Aranoa] talked about it a lot. there are people like him [Blanco] Everything around us. Some of them are known, others are anonymous. I didn’t watch a certain person to copy. There is a delivery, a smell, the way they talk, move, touch, they look alike like those kinds of people. This is what you are trying to find.
DEADLINE: On the one hand, he is charming and endearing, on the other he is an adulterer and an intriguer. Does having these varied character traits make him more interesting to you as an actor?
BARDEM: Yes of course, because it is a contradiction in itself. It is not simple, there is no key, it has different colors. He loves his wife, that’s for sure, but that doesn’t mean he won’t go in the opposite direction sometimes. There’s no way to excuse it or justify it, but that’s the mindset of a lot of people, they can feel good about it.
LEÓN DE ARANOA: The character has this balance in his life [his factory produces kitchen scales, a consistent metaphor in the film], but it’s wrong. If something is out of balance it will fix it, but we meet it when it is about to lose that balance. He’s starting to lose control. He goes further and further to keep everything under control.
DEADLINE: The subject of professional-personal relations has been examined in detail as part of the #MeToo movement, has it had any influence on you?
LEÓN DE ARANOA: It was all deep in my head. All kinds of bad things that could happen in a workplace. We know these things happen every day. All of these things have been shown [by #MeToo].
DEADLINE: Javier, you are a very famous person, have you ever thought of working in a factory, of having this kind of white collar job? A more normal, contained life?
BARDEM: Well I got it. I was not born an actor. I had several jobs, not in a factory, but at 19 I was helping on construction sites. I had bosses, I still have them. I know a lot of people who work in these environments. It’s not strange to me. Also, when you are working on a film set, there is discipline to follow, bosses to give instructions, you have to do as you are told.
It’s also my job to imagine situations I’ve never been in before, especially when you’re an actor, you play people that you weren’t – when you play Hamlet, you’re not. a prince yourself, what do you know to be the son of a king? You need a text that triggers your imagination.
DEADLINE: There are another movie you have right now – Dune – how was this experience?
BARDEM: It was fun. My role is short. Hope there is a second! I hope my character has more to tell in the story. Let’s see.
DEADLINE: What do you two have to come?
LEÓN DE ARANOA: I try to find a place once The good boss is here in Spain to return to the office. I have several different projects, including my first TV show. I love feature films but want to try the TV one.
BARDEM: I start shooting next Monday Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile [the musical comedy from Josh Gordon and Will Speck]. Then Being the Ricardos, Aaron Sorkin’s movie, comes out I guess at the end of this year, I’m not sure.