Javier Bardem's in not one, but two Venice Film Festival premieres
1. Javier Bardem plays Pablo Escobar like you've never seen him before
In Loving Pablo, Javier Bardem plays Escobar in a time when he's focused on his 10 years facing extradition. The story is told through the eyes of Virginia Vallejo, a journalist whom he had a relationship with. Vallejo's played by Penelope Cruz, who's also Bardem's real life partner. You might think you're familiar with Escobar's life from Netflix's Narcos, but this intimate side is one you've yet to explore.
2. Playing lovers both on and off screen
What's it like for a husband and wife team to play on-screen lovers? "The actor is always present in his characters, but we kind of got it to a place where we knew exactly what they were doing to each other as if they were two toys and we could see it from the outside and play," said Bardem in an interview. "We could be tough on each other and be cruel, knowing that none of that belongs to us, and then step out and leave it at he end of the day because you have two kids."
3. A reunited front
Bardem isn't just reuniting with his wife on-screen (the duo were last seen in Vicky Christina Barcelona, which earned Cruz an Oscar). Spanish director Fernando Leon de Aranoa is also reunited with Bardem — in 2002, he played in his dramedy Mondays in the Sun.
4. What does it take to play Pablo Escobar?
According to the director, Bardem was chosen because of his original enthusiasm and commitment. For the hunk, he was first intrigued by the life of Escobar in 1998, but had previously refused Escobar roles because they were always playing a stereotype — until Leon's work came along.