Javier Bardem as Pablo Escobar
As Spain’s most internationally acclaimed actor, Academy Award-winner JAVIER BARDEM has captivated audiences worldwide with his diverse performances.
In May 2017, Bardem starred in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, the fifth installment to the hit franchise, as Captain Armando Salazar. He can next be seen in Darren Aronofsky’s mother! Opposite Jennifer Lawrence, releasing on September 15, 2017 by Paramount Pictures, as well as Fernando Leon’s Loving Pablo, in which he stars as the title role alongside Penélope Cruz.
Bardem took audiences by storm in one of the most touted installments of the James Bond franchise, Skyfall, as the villain, Raoul Silva, opposite Daniel Craig, Dame Judi Dench, Naomie Harris and Berenice Marlohe. He has continually received critical acclaim for his role, in addition to being nominated in the supporting actor category for both a Critics Choice Movie Award and a Screen Actors Guild® Award.
Bardem can also be seen in Ridley Scott’s The Counselor, opposite Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz and Penélope Cruz. Bardem was awarded the Best Actor prize at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival for his performance in Alejandro Iñárritu’s Biutiful, a role which also earned him his third Academy Award® nomination. Bardem received his first Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of the Cuban poet and dissident Reinaldo Arenas, in Julian Schnabel’s Before Night Falls. He was named Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival, received Best Actor honors from the National Society of Film Critics, the Independent Spirit Awards, the National Board of Review, and received a Golden Globe® nomination for this role.
In 2008, Bardem received the Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actor for his chilling portrayal of sociopath killer, Anton Chigurh, in Joel and Ethan Coen’s No Country for Old Men. The performance garnered a Golden Globe® Award, a Screen Actors Guild® Award, a BAFTA, and countless film critic awards and nominations.
Bardem co-produced and starred in Sons of the Clouds: The Last Colony, a film documenting how the colonization of the Western Sahara has left nearly 200,000 people living in refugee camps. In October 2011, Bardem and his co-producer Alvaro Longoria, the film’s director, addressed the United Nations General Assembly’s decolonization committee, urging the delegates to end human rights abuses in the region. The film premiered at the 62nd annual Berlin International Film Festival in January, and has since been acquired by Canal Plus in Bardem’s native Spain, and was released by GoDigital via iTunes in the U.S.
Bardem won the Best Actor Award at the Venice Film Festival for his performance in Alejandro Amenabar’s film The Sea Inside, making him only the second actor to win the award twice. He also won a Goya Award and received a Golden Globe® nomination for this role. Bardem has won the Goya Award; Spain’s equivalent of the Oscar, five times and has received a total of eight nominations.
His other notable film credits include Terrence Malick’s To the Wonder; Eat, Pray, Love opposite Julia Roberts; Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona, for which he was again nominated for a Golden Globe® and Independent Spirit Award; John Malkovich’s directorial debut The Dancer Upstairs; Fernando Leon de Aranoa’s Mondays in the Sun, which was named best film at the San Sebastian Film Festival; Michael Mann’s Collateral; Mike Newell’s Love in the Time of Cholera; and Milos Forman’s Goya’s Ghosts opposite Natalie Portman.
Penélope Cruz as Virginia Vallejo
Academy Award winner PENÉLOPE CRUZ has proven herself to be one of the most versatile actresses by playing a variety of compelling characters, and becoming the first actress from Spain to be nominated and win for an Academy Award.
First introduced to American audiences in the Spanish films Jamon, Jamon and Belle Epoque, in 1998 she starred in her first English language film, Hi-Lo Country for director Stephen Frears opposite Woody Harrelson, Patricia Arquette and Billy Crudup. In 1999, Cruz won the Best Actress award at the 13th Annual Goya Awards given by the Spanish Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences for her role in Fernando Trueba’s The Girl of Your Dreams.
Confirming her status as Spain’s hottest international actress, Cruz landed a series of coveted roles. She appeared in Billy Bob Thornton’s All the Pretty Horses, Fina Torres’s Woman on Top, Alejandro Amenabar’s Open Your Eyes, Maria Ripoll’s Twice Upon a Yesterday, and Nick Hamm’s Talk of Angels. Additionally, Cruz co-starred in Pedro Almovodar’s Live Flesh and critically acclaimed All About My Mother, which was awarded the Golden Globe and Academy Award® for Best Foreign Film.
Next was New Line’s Blow for director Ted Demme and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin opposite Nicolas Cage. After that, Cruz starred opposite Tom Cruise in the erotic thriller Vanilla Sky. She then tackled Masked & Anonymous, Fan Fan la Tulipe, which opened the 2003 Cannes Film Festival, and Don’t Tempt Me. She received rave reviews for her eagerly awaited performance in Don’t Move (Non ti Muovere) in which she was honored with a David Di Donatello Award (Italian Oscar) and European Film Award for Best Actress.
To add to her already brilliant and diverse choice of film credits, she starred in films including Gothika; Head in the Clouds; Noel; and Chromophobia. Cruz also co-stared with Matthew McConaughey and William H. Macy as Dr. Eva Rojas in the action packed film Sahara.
In 2006, Cruz starred in Volver, which again teamed her with director and dear friend Pedro Almodovar. Critically acclaimed for her role as Raimunda, she won the Best Actress awards at the European Film Awards, the Spanish Goya Awards, the Cannes Film Festival, and received both Golden Globe and Academy Award® nominations.
Cruz went on to star in Elegy opposite Sir Ben Kingsley and Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona opposite Javier Bardem and Scarlett Johansson. In 2009, Cruz won an Oscar, a BAFTA, an NYFCC, and an NBR Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Vicky Christina Barcelona.
That same year, Cruz and Pedro Almodóvar were back in action for the fourth time with Broken Embraces which she again received critical acclaim for her portrayal of Lena. Also in 2009, Cruz teamed up with director Rob Marshall and co-starred alongside Nicole Kidman, Daniel Day Lewis and Marion Cotillard in the film version of the musical Nine. Her standout portrayal of Carla garnered SAG, Golden Globe and Academy Award® nominations. Her third Academy Award® nomination marked only the third time in the history of the awards where the winner of the Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actress was nominated for Best Supporting Actress again in the following year.
In 2011, Cruz starred opposite Johnny Depp in the international blockbuster hit Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the fourth installment of the movie series directed by Rob Marshall. In the summer of 2011, Cruz also filmed Woody Allen’s To Rome with Love which was released in June, 2012. The film also stars Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Judy Davis, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig and Ellen Page. Cruz starred in Ridley Scott’s 2013 thriller The Counselor alongside Cameron Diaz, Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, and Brad Pitt. She went on to star in Twice Born directed by Sergio Castellitto, with whom she previously starred in his critically acclaimed film Don’t Move.
In 2016, Cruz starred in Zoolander 2, the long awaited sequel to the 2001 comedy directed by and starring Ben Stiller, as well as Louis Leterrier’s The Brothers Grimsby, alongside Sacha Baron Cohen, Ian McShane, Rebel Wilson and Isla Fisher. She went on to produce and star in Ma Ma, directed by acclaimed Spanish director Julio Medem. The film premiered at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival and was released in May 2016. Fernando Trueba’s The Queen of Spain was released in November 2016 and her starring role earned Cruz her 9th Spanish Goya Award nomination.
She most recently wrapped 20th Century Fox’s Murder on the Orient Express, with a strong ensemble cast including Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Michael Pena, Judi Dench, and Josh Gad, as well as Kenneth Branagh who also directed. Based on the 1934 Agatha Christie novel, the mystery begins after an American businessman is murdered aboard the train and the investigator tries to solve the murder, finding out eventually that 13 people all had some connection with the murder victim. The film hits theaters November 10, 2017.
Cruz will next star as Donatella Versace, the sister of murdered fashion designer Gianni Versace, in FX’s Versace: American Crime Story, the third installment in the Emmy-winning anthology series from Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson. This marks Cruz’s US television debut.
Peter Sarsgaard as Agent Shepard
PETER SARSGAARD is renowned for his range and ability to access what is behind the often-complicated facades of the characters he plays. Sarsgaard can most recently be seen in Pablo Larrain’s award-winning film, Jackie. The film follows the First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy, in the immediate aftermath of John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963. Sarsgaard plays Robert Kennedy opposite Natalie Portman as Jackie. The film had its world premiere at the 2016 Venice Film Festival, then continued on to play the Toronto International Film Festival where is was picked up by Fox Searchlight. The film was released in December of 2016.
In fall of 2016, he starred in Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven opposite Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Chris Pratt and Haley Bennett. The film tells the story of seven gunmen in the old west who gradually come together to help a poor village against savage thieves. The film held its world premiere as the Opening Night Film at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival and opened at #1 at the Box Office.
Sarsgaard also starred in Norman Lear’s EPIX Documentary Series American Divided alongside Common, America Ferrera, Rosario Dawson and Amy Poehler. The series documents the group’s travels around the nation exploring the socioeconomic issues plaguing today’s America.
In 2015, he garnered great reviews for his portrayal of famed psychologist Stanley Milgram in Experimenter opposite Winona Ryder. The film, directed by Michael Almereyda, world premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and also was shown at the New York Film Festival. Magnolia released the film in October of 2015.
Previous film credits include: Scott Cooper’s Black Mass, Ed Zwick’s Pawn Sacrifice, Kelly Reichardt’s Night Moves, Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine opposite Cate Blanchett, Lovelace opposite Amanda Seyfried, Green Lantern, Knight and Day, An Education, Orphan, In the Electric Mist, Elegy and Rendition. Other film credits include: Year of the Dog directed by Mike White; Jarhead directed by Sam Mendes; Flightplan opposite Jodie Foster; The Dying Gaul opposite Campbell Scott and Patricia Clarkson; Kinsey directed by Bill Condon and starring Liam Neeson and Laura Linney; Garden State opposite Zach Braff and Natalie Portman; Shattered Glass opposite Hayden Christensen, for which he received a Golden Globe nomination and K-19 Widowmaker opposite Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson.
On the big screen, Sarsgaard first received wide acclaim for his role as John Lotter, the tormenter and rapist in Kimberly Pierce’s Boys Don’t Cry. Starring opposite Hilary Swank and Chloe Sevigny, he received critical praise for his searing portrayal of the violent ex-con ill equipped to deal with a startling discovery.
In 1995, Sarsgaard made his theatrical debut in the Off-Broadway production of Horton Foote’s Laura Dennis, which was directed by James Houghton. In 2008 Sarsgaard made his Broadway debut as Trigorin in Anton Chekov’s The Seagull opposite Kristin Scott Thomas and Carey Mulligan. This was the beginning of his critically acclaimed Anton Chekov run, which was followed by an off-Broadway run of Uncle Vanya and culminated with Three Sisters both starring opposite Maggie Gyllenhaal. Three Sisters was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Achievement Off-Broadway and a Drama Desk Award. In April 2015, he completed a six-week run of Hamlet at the Classic Stage Company, which found him reunited with his Three Sisters and Uncle Vanya director, Austin Pendleton.
Sarsgaard attended the Actors’ Studio Program at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and currently resides in Brooklyn with his wife, actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, and their two children.
Fernando León De Aranoa Director / Writer
FERNANDO LEÓN DE ARANOA became well known with the debut of his acclaimed film Mondays in the Sun starring Javier Bardem, which was honored at the 2002 Goya Awards, winning five awards including Best Picture and Best Director. The film triumphed in the San Sebastian Film Festival, taking the Golden Shell for Best Film. The Spanish Academy of Arts and Cinematographic Sciences selected the film to represent Spain at the Academy Awards® in the category of Best Foreign Language Film.
At a very young age, León de Aranoa focused his studies on the arts, literature, and writing. It was during his studies that his interest in film was awakened. He began to write short stories, winning awards for his narratives. Meanwhile, he had a job drawing for an advertising agency but quit to pursue a career as a screenwriter. With help from his literature and writing teachers, he landed a job writing scripts for television. He became involved in films for the first time as a screenwriter on three films directed by Antonio del Real. León de Aranoa then transitioned to become a director, making the short film Sirenas (1994), which received a number of awards.
His first feature film was Familia (1996), for which he also wrote the screenplay. León de Aranoa was honored with the Goya Award for Best New Director, as well as the Audience Award and Special Mention from FIPRESCI at the Valladolid SEMINCI festival. The screenplay was later adapted for the stage in several countries.
Next, in 1998 he wrote and directed Barrio, a portrait of the lives of three young teens in a slum, which received Goya Awards for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. The film was presented in the official section of the San Sebastian Festival, where León de Aranoa earned the Silver Shell for Best Director. The film was honored with other major awards such as the FIPRESCI Prize, the Fotogramas de Plata Award for Best Spanish Film, the José María Forqué Prize, the Sant Jordi Award and the Turia Award.
After Monday in the Sun, his fourth film as director and screenwriter, Princesses (2005) marked his debut as a producer after he formed his own production company, Reposado. Princesses won three Goya Awards — Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Original Song, composed by Manu Chao. The Ondas Awards honored Princesses with its Film of the Year Award and Best Film Actors Award. The film was also part of the official selection of the Sundance Film Festival.
As a documentary filmmaker, León de Aranoa directed the Mexican film Walkers (2001), which won festival awards in Havana, Los Angeles, New York City and Alcalá de Henares. In 2007 he took part in the documentary Invisibles directing the chapter entitled “Buenas Noches, Ouma.” This documentary also featured the participation of the directors Mariano Barroso, Isabel Coixet, Wim Wenders and Javier Corcuera and was honored with the Goya Award for Best Documentary. Also, in 1994 he collaborated in the direction of Izbieglize, and in 2000 he wrote the script for the documentary The Back of the World.
In 2015, his film A Perfect Day was selected to be screened in the Directors’ Fortnight section at the Cannes Film Festival.
In addition to writing his own films, León de Aranoa has served as a screenwriter for other directors; he wrote the screenplays for Crazy Heart (1997) and Fausto 5.0 (2001). He has published award-winning several short stories and has also worked as a cartoonist and illustrator.