When Oscar nominations were announced on Tuesday, February 13th, 2001, an audible gasp and a thunderous round of applause went out when the name of Javier Bardem was called. The actor, nominated for “Before Night Falls”, was considered a long-shot to get a nomination for a film that, as a whole, had not generated much Oscar-buzz.
Bardem was to soon become a household name around the world (and was already a big star in Spain), but had he accepted the offer to play Renard in THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH, he may have become even more famous much sooner. In the February 23rd, 2001 issue of Entertainment Weekly, Bardem tells the reporter Steve Daly why he turned down Renard: “With all my respects….that is not the kind of thing I like to do. I want to be on risk. Otherwise this job has not a meaning.”
His English still needed work and perhaps that`s the real reason he didn`t play Renard.