It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no it’s… Javier Bardem. By the time the average actor hits the big time, he has had years of small jobs behind him, and the Spanish actor is no exception as Jay Leno revealed (read embarrassed him) Wednesday night on The Tonight Show by replaying an old clip from his past.
“You never dressed maybe as Superman?” asked Leno. “Oh Jeez!” Responded Bardem, knowing an embarrassing moment from his past in Spain was about to surface and become international news. “You cannot hide anymore,” said Leno.
Back in 1989, a very skinny Bardem donned the superhero’s famed tights and cape n the popular Spanish TV show El día por delante, which aired on Televisión Española (TVE), in a segment called “”¡Es…Superman!” Well, I don’t think superhero filmmakers will be giving him a call anytime soon. Hit the jump to see why.
Bardem’s Superman is simply no hero. He can’t fly, he can’t avoid bumping into objects and he especially can’t find a better acting gig. The Academy Award winner admits he was a struggling actor back then, even though he came from a family of acclaimed filmmakers and thespians — he started out at age six and a half in the film El Pícaro (The Scoundrel) – and questioned whether he really wanted to become an actor. “It’s a hard job,” he told Leno.
But I guess playing a klutzy Superman on a talk show is way better than his rather impressive array of other jobs, which included rugby player, bouncer, construction worker and stripper (surely someone can dig up a clip of that particular job!) Thank goodness director Bigas Luna came along and gave him his big break in The Ages of Lulu a year later.
His next film, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Biutiful which earned him the Best Actor award in Cannes this year, opens on December 29th. Watch Jay Leno embarrass Javier on last night’s show, followed by clips of El día por delante and El Picaro: