Exclusive: Julia Roberts' Oscar plea for Javier Bardem

Julia-Roberts-BardemImage Credit: James Devaney/WireImage.comA couple weeks ago, I groused to you about how I thought Javier Bardem’s powerful performance in Biutiful has been unfairly overlooked during this awards season so far. Well, it turns out I have a sister in my disappointment: Julia Roberts. And she’s decided to do something about it. Tonight in Los Angeles, Roberts hosted a screening of Biutiful on behalf of Bardem (her costar in Eat Pray Love) for a select industry crowd. Along with Bardem and his glowingly pregnant wife, Penélope Cruz, I spotted actors Kyle MacLachlan and Robert Forster among the attendees. Taking a break from working the room, Roberts spoke exclusively to EW about her admiration for Bardem’s achievement, and her excitement at working with — speaking of  the Oscars — Meryl Streep.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What is it about Javier’s performance in Biutiful that you’re so passionate about?
JULIA ROBERTS: He’s so raw and completely open to sharing every emotion this character has. I was telling him at dinner tonight, when I watched it I had to keep stopping and saying, “Okay, this is not actually happening to Javier.” Because it’s his face and his big eyes. I think it’s unexpected for a man to expose himself so deeply. And it’s incredibly agonizing in its subtleties. I just have a great appreciation for what he went through to show us all this. I know it had to hurt.

So why hasn’t he gotten more recognition? There was no SAG nomination, no Globe nomination, not even a critics award.
I think the movie hasn’t gotten the exposure. You don’t know where it is. It’s like this hidden little jewel. Especially in this particular season, people don’t hunt for things. They just take what you throw in their face.

I know of at least one Academy member who put the Biutiful DVD in the player and took it out after the first half hour because it was just too bleak.
I don’t know how you couldn’t want to know what happens. I hope that person is haunted until the end of time wanting to know what happened.

So is there any hope for Javier? Can he score enough No. 1 votes to get a Best Actor nomination?
If there’s not hope for talent, then we’re f—ed.

If Javier is your No. 1 pick, what about your other Eat Pray Love costar, James Franco?
Oh God, don’t put me in that position! It’s apples and oranges. He’s hosting the Oscars, so he might have an edge.

Your next movie is August: Osage County with Meryl Streep. Could that be your return trip to the ceremony?
I think that will just be my trip to heaven to be with Meryl Streep in that scenario. It’s a dream come true.

Comments (92 total) Add your comment
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  • mark

    well, she did when Denzel his best actor oscar, so i guess it’s not a bad strategy. :p

    • Jethro

      Who the heck is she? Eat Pray Love did nothing for her and her campaign will do nothing for him.

      She is not royalty, she is nada !

      • Emily

        She’s the most successful actress of all time and Eat Pray Love made over $200 million worldwide (more than THREE times its budget)

      • The Truth

        Most successful actress of all time? What are you basing that on? She made 2 good movies at best. Audrey Hepburn, Katherine Hepburn, Meryl Streep, Susan Sarandon and Sigourney Weaver’s bodies of work eclipses Roberts without even trying. Plus there are many more women ahead of her in the list of most successful actresses.

    • Terry

      yeah, but that was one of the moments that caused me to go from being a fan to the point where I can’t stand her. I remember one of her comments about Denzel, something like, I can’t imagine a world where I have an oscar for best actress but Denzel doesn’t have one for best actor, something like that. Well. I can agree with the first part of her statement, but really, with all the troubles in the world(war, famine, poverty) what really gets you id Denzel not having an oscar. Got news for you toots, a lot of great actors don’t have oscars, who cares? They’re supposed to be in it for the art. And as such, a lot of so so actors have won one(including one goofy actress who made a cheesy tvmovie that should have been on lifetime.

      • mark

        hah totally Terry! Denzel already had an Oscar at the point too, just not a best actor Oscar. The competition that year were in better movies and most were better actors in them (Tom Wilkinson and Russell Crowe come to mind).

  • Bee

    love julia roberts always. and will hopefully get to check out biutiful soon.

  • Joe

    Bardem is undoubtedly among the top ten working actors; Biutiful was fantastic, and he was fantastic in it. It would be a shame if he didn’t get a nomination, but in the end nobody really competes with Colin Firth’s brilliant work in The King’s Speech.

  • KC

    Oh shut up, you has-been!

    • Calebin2004

      Ditto

  • Fred

    there are far more superior performance’s than Bardem..thats why……

    • Maureen

      ^THIS^

  • gb

    I would bet a million dollars….if I had it….that Bardem will be nominated for an oscar for this movie…Biutiful. I haven’t even seen it….but based on previews alone….it looks and he looks amazing in it….so I am sure they won’t overlook him.

    • Jeff

      Nope, not happening. Firth, Franco, Bridges and Eisenberg will all get nominated and either Ryan Gosling or Mark Wahlberg will get the last spot.

      • tori

        I agree with those first four you wrote Jeff, but I have a feeling Robert Duvall will get the last spot. Get Low was a great movie that’s been flying under the radar.

      • Frank

        What are you saying now dumb ass? Bardem is one of the best actors of his generation….Gosling wahlberg? Please!

  • Guil

    What he WENT through? It’s a movie, not some serious illness or war. Give me a break. I’m tired of hearing about how “brave” actors are. They’re just doing their jobs. I consider fire fighters, surgeons, police officers, EMTs, etc., brave. Not some actor reading lines that somebody else wrote. Maybe he took chances – that’s a more honest phrase. One person who doesn’t, seemingly, is Julia. Eat.Pray.Love is one of the worst, most boring, annoying movies I’ve ever seen. Has she ever made a mark in a truly great film? No, her choices are shallow and vapid. Who is she to just a great performance? Get a real actor to do that.

    • Emily

      She’s the most successful actress of all time, that’s who she is. WHO ARE YOU? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE LATELY?

      • Terry

        Don’t know about Guil, but I agree with (his/her) comment. I’m a veteran, Julia Roberts pretended to be a hooker. How bout you Emily?

    • sorella

      I agree with this. It’s a movie for goodness sake, these actor are not curing Cancer or breaking their backs doing a labour intensive, low-paying job.

    • Steve

      brevity doesn’t mean risking your life. to look at Bardem’s career and say he isn’t brave shows incredible ignorance. maybe it’s subjective, but I’d consider the man braver than the vast majority of mankind. just because he’s channeling his strengths in a different medium, doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be recognized. this isn’t war. art is the solution to violence. argue with me, go ahead, but it doesn’t change the FACT that he IS a brave man – a hundred times braver than ANY ONE OF US posting on a B-S INTERNET WALL.

  • Guil

    Sorry – that “just” should have been “judge.”

  • Buffy Freak

    Of all people, Julia should be aware that winning an Oscar isn’t always about talent…for example, her Oscar.

    • UGH

      EXACTLY.
      Winning for what should have been a TV movie-of-the-week role much like Sandra Bullock’s last year.

      • Buffy Freak

        Using her current tact of campaigning for great performances to win, she should have been working hard to get people to vote for Ellen Burstyn instead of her that year.

      • KT

        I couldn’t agree with both of you more! I think she’s terribly overrated as an actress and her Oscar belonged to Ellen Burstyn. I also find her so annoying on the screen that I avoid every movie she’s in. I can’t help it – I just can’t bear watching her try to act. I am so sad that she will be in August: Osage County because I missed it on the stage and really wanted to see the movie. Oh, well…maybe I’ll just read the play!

    • Emily

      First, the best performance that year was from Bjork, but apparently the cool thing to say now is “Burstyn was robbed.” Okay fine, but you need to go whine to Juliette Binoche, Annette Bening, Frances McDormand who PUBLICLY admitted to wanting Julia to win for Erin Brockovich.

    • Aaron

      Okay, Julia isn’t the most versatile actress out there. I’ll give you that…I strongly disagree that her Oscar was unearned, however. I truly don’t think anyone could’ve played Erin Brockovich the way she did…it was the perfect combination of raw star talent and emotional complexity. She was fantastic in that role, and even though Ellen Burstyn was extraordinary in Requiem for a Dream, I for one will never begrudge Roberts her Oscar. And the references to Bullock is laughable…The Blind Side pales in comparison to Erin Brockovich.

  • Brett

    Frankly, she sounds like a high school theater student who has trouble distancing herself from her friend when he performs. “Okay, this is not actually happening to Javier.” No, Julia, it WASN’T really happening to Javier. Don’t be dense.

    • sorella

      She always sounds like that, she overly gushes about her BFFs. Strangely, you don’t hear her BFFS talk about Julia’s own talent much (more about her being nice).

      • Emily

        You don’t? Really? Stop making stuff up. You want some links? Cause I can link you to articles where Denzel, George, Clive, Brad, Javier, Gere, Dermet Mulroney, Rupert Everett, Aaron Eckhart, Mike Nichols, Soderbergh, Ryan Murphy, PJ Hogan, Garry Marshall (the list goes on) all gush about how talented she is (Robert Altman & Martin Scorsese too)

      • bijou

        Who is this Emily chick, her agent or manager???

      • anonymous

        hahah, Emily wants to BE Julia Roberts when she grows up and just like Julia, Emily wants lots of people to say nice things about her too and have lots of friends just like Julia. Totally understandle Emily, yep this is what happens when you must go through life with the name of a 5 year old girl, it’s all rainbows and unicorns about everybody.

  • Bookerguy

    I guess the movie was so good that she couldn’t distinguish between the actor and the character which is what a good role should do and should be noticed by the Oscars.

  • Stef

    I did a search on ew.com for the movie and came up with nothing.

  • Jennifer

    I am really tired of JR always making it about her. Why does she assume her name will carry weight? Even when she announced Denzel Washington’s Oscar win – when it should have been 100% his moment – she commented that she loved HER life. Seriously. She is getting as bad as Oprah. JR is not a trendsetter, a tastemaker, or a Svengali. A little humility might do her friends more service than her “campaigning.” ARGH. Yes. I am sick of JR. I admit it.

    • Emily

      Denzel won the Oscar didn’t he? His performance was GREAt, but lets not act like having Julia in your corner doesn’t help.

      Hating on Oprah is tired and trite – much like hating on people 10 times more successful than you are. How about you pay attention to them and the way they navigate their careers and perhaps you’d be doing better too.

      • Jennifer

        Emily, since you have no idea how well I am doing, perhaps you should be careful. I might just decide to attempt to crush you as Oprah tried to do to Jonathan Franzen and Stephen Frye. (that is a joke. Don’t cry. your career prospects are safe.) But I stand by my implied suggestion that a bit of humility would serve both Oprah AND JR. and I think it was Denzel’s performance and not the fact that he co-starred with JR eons ago that won him the Oscar. But you just keep on loving on Julia. And Oprah. It’s a free country. Even for sheep and lemmings.

    • bijou

      Agree with this. Julia is shut out of the award season as her recent Oscar-bait, Eat Pray Love did not do well, so wants (like she did with Denzel), her friends nominated so she can present the award to them and/or brag about what good friends they are. She likes to make it about herself so presto, she’s back to being relevant again (in her own mind anyway). At least Oprah gives to others, despite beign me-me-me, unlike JR.

      • Emily

        Wait, Julia wants her friends nominated so she can present the award to them? What kind of dumb logic? Please do some research. Julia doesn’t even attend awards shows anymore unless she is nominated. She’s not going to the Oscars.

        Julia doesn’t give to others? Again, do research, since I think it is Julia Roberts that Paul Newman asked to take over some of his charities before he passed and who runs the board of several of his charities, specifically The Hole In the Wall camps.

        So you guys just lie on here cause you’re bored I assume?

    • Tuvak

      We all know why he won. It was Russell’s award, stolen from him…
      Crowe in A Beautiful Mind was one of the all time great performances by a male actor

  • Emily

    Julia Roberts honestly seems like one of the best friends to have. No wonder that so many of her co-stars love her and work with her over and over. I think it’s great that she goes to bat for them. People can criticize all you want, but but clearly she believes in loyalty and Javier WAS FANTASTIC in Biutiful so I’m happy that she did that to him.

    For all the haters, Julia Roberts is a legend, and as far as living actresses are concerned, the only other person who can claim that is probably Meryl Streep so keep hating, she’s in the record & history books….while you’re on a computer…being a hater. Bwahahahahaha

    • anonymous

      Apparently Julia can be quite the B to the little people and is only nice and respectful to other “artistes” such as herself. Maybe why they praise her as they are on the top of her yard stick, whereas the rest of us mere mortals are not.

      • Emily

        Have you worked with? Then you don’t know that, you believe the gossip and BS that you read on places like Perez Hilton and ONTD.

        Do you want her to be your friend? Is that why you’re really upset lol?

    • Shane

      Okay Emily….seeing as how you are so in the know, what is the name on the necklace Julia wears, and became a joke between she and Natalie Portman when they made Closer and what is the name on the necklace Julia gave to Natalie at the end of production on that movie?
      If you know this, then I think you oughta think about what you are saying before you say it.

    • Juneau

      Emily – this may have escaped your attention, but you haven’t worked with her either (and I suspect you are just another rabid fan-tard) so according to you, you can’t have an opinion about her. Legends are Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep, Ellen Burstyn, Judy Dench, Glenn Close, Anne Bancroft, Emma Thompson, Jack Nicholson, Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, DeNiro, and Pacino. JR doesn’t really fit in with that crowd. Julia is a movie star, not a critically acclaimed actor.

    • peggym

      Let’s all ask the first Mrs. Moder about Julia’s niceness.

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    • Catherine

      Are you Julia’s sister or nanny or something? Enough already. Some of us aren’t members of her cult. Everything’s all about her. I wish she’d GO AWAY!

  • sorella

    Julia is all rahrahrah for her friends (she did the same with Nathalie Portman recently) may so she has allies for her own future roles when she needs more accolates/awards. She always picks the most popular of the moment(George, Brad, Denzel, ect.) and wants us all to know she’s their BFF and they are so tight. . She loves to throw around lines like “when we had dinner..” and “my good friend…” Likely insecure about her place in Hollywood now.

    • Emily

      Eat Pray Love made over $200 million worldwide and she’s the most successful actress of all time. What the hell does she have to be insecure about? If my box office receipts total was over 2.5 billion, I certainly wouldn’t be concerned.

      • jimmy

        Hmm Emily (Julia?) Calm down, why so angry. Don’t worry, your job working for Julia’s PR firm is safe, she still brings in money. You can feed your chidden tomorrow Emily.

      • KT

        Oh Emily, Emily, your comments would be hilarious if they weren’t so sad. $200M WORLDWIDE is not that impressive a number for a film that cost $60M. And as for being the most successful actress of all time, well, that is based on box office receipts (not profit) and perhaps some of her costars had something to do with that number – Clooney and Pitt and Washington and Gere, to name a few. Hmmm, do you think? She has a whopping career total of 3 Oscar nominations and one win, which was 10 years ago. Meryl Streep, on the other hand, has 16 nominations, the latest as recent as last year, with two wins. Katharine Hepburn is right behind her with 12 nominations and four wins. One could argue based on talent recognition that they both have been more successful. Roberts is/was a movie star, that’s all, and a barely competent actress, and her star is fading as a newer crop of younger actresses are replacing her.

        I think you have a lot of passion that is sadly wasted on your adoration of this silly woman. Find a better role model.

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