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.
The man who was Q, John Cleese, reckons that money has ruined the James Bond series…
John Cleese has form in the James Bond movies. He ascended to the role of Q in Die Another Day, and was originally expected to return to the part. However, Pierce Brosnan departed the world of Bond, the reboot came in, Daniel Craig got the role, and things went back to the start for Bond. Only now has Ben Whishaw been introduced as the new Q.
In a new interview to promote his autobiography, Cleese was asked what he thought of Whishaw’s take on Q. But as it turns out, he’s not seen it. Cleese said that he didn’t watch Skyfall “because I have criticisms of the new Bond movies.”
He continued, telling Shortlist that “two things went wrong: the plots became so impossibly obscure that even professional writers couldn’t figure out what they were about; and the action scenes, which are supposed to make the adrenaline run, go on far too long.”
Cleese argues that “they discovered these movies were popular in places such as the Philippines and South Korea, and so they dropped the humour because no one there is going to understand jokes about the English class system…One of the great things I’ve learnt in the last few years is just how much money spoils everything”, he noted.
The last James Bond movie, Skyfall, remains the most successful 007 adventure of all time, and the same team who made it – led by star Daniel Craig and director Sam Mendes – are soon to start shooting James Bond 24, for release in October next year.