Javier Bardem, known for playing one of the most terrifying killers in the film (No Country For Old Men) is surprisingly kind of a softie. The actor revealed in an interview that one classic Disney movie made him cry, and he won’t let his children see it because of how cruel it was.
Bardem, who grew up in Spain as part of an entire family of actors, made his mark on Hollywood with the role of Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Men, winner of the prestigious “Most Chilling Villain With Goofiest Haircut” award. If you’ve not seen the film, the character is violent, and by that I mean the kind of hyper-realistic violence you don’t see often in movies.
Working in a role like that would make him seem like a hardboiled type of guy, considering the violent acts he commits without flinching in the film. Despite that, the actor admitted that it’s pretty easy to make him cry in real life, saying that he’ll often find himself crying at Christmas commercials.
The real way to turn on the waterworks though? Bambi. Bardem claims the movie will have him crying immediately, saying it’s “unbearable” to watch because of how effective the film was, even seeing an edited version in his native Spain. I’ve tried my damndest to find what the edited version contains but have yet to come across it.
The actor no doubt had a visceral reaction to the unedited version, an entire 69 (nice) minutes of trauma animated to film. Consider that a lot of the animators and Disney’s own daughter thought killing Bambi’s mother was cool. Not only that but this was released not even a year after Pearl Harbor and the US entering World War 2.
Imagine being an Allied soldier finally on leave from the battlefield, hearing about this new animated movie from the people that made Snow White about a cutesy deer and his forest friends. Then the poor soldier, already likely shell-shocked after immediately being put into trench warfare after Pearl Harbor, sees Bambi’s mom get capped right in front of him. Going to guess that wasn’t a good time.
So it’s understandable that Javier Bardem considers the movie to be cruel, even refusing to let his two children watch it along with other classic Disney films. Considering some of the themes and situations involved in classic Disney films that would not fly today he might be on to something.
Javier Bardem has said he lets his children, both with his wife Penelope Cruz, watch modern Disney films though, which is a good thing considering he’ll be playing King Triton in the upcoming Little Mermaid with Halle Bailey where he plays a father that forbids his daughter to do something. Method acting.
Bardem will also appear in Dune: Part II later this year and is attached to a future remake of Bride of Frankenstein for Universal, but we’ve seen how those go so fingers crossed. Fool me once, Universal…
Bambi was supposed to receive the Disney live-action treatment but as of now, that project seems to be as dead, if not more dead, than Bambi’s mother.