Spanish actor Javier Bardem watched Sean Connery play the famous spy in the first James Bond films, and now he cannot believe his luck that he gets to play one of the infamous villians in the newest Bond release, 'Skyfall'.
The Oscar winner dons a dodgy blonde haircut in the film, but his performance promises to be one of the scariest and intimidating Bond villains yet.
In one memorable scene, Javier rubs Daniel Craig's thigh in an act of intimidation - a sequence which has been described as "homoerotic".
Bardem, who is married to fellow Spaniard and Oscar winner Penelope Cruz, says: “I’m a huge fan of the James Bond saga, so I was always very open to the idea. When I was little I watched Mr Connery doing James Bond with my father. Who in the world would think I’d be in one of those movies?”
Javier cuts an impressive figure in 'Skyfall' (WENN)
And director Sam Mendes was keen to get Bardem's input into the character, to make him as chilling and memorable as his performance in 'No Country For Old Men'.
"The script was everything you could expect in James Bond films, and in addition it was a powerful and complex story.
“Sam had changed the whole dynamic of the baddie role, so Silva is not just a villain in the usual and obvious way. He gave me meat to chew and a nuanced Bond nemesis to play.”
Despite his relationship with Penelope being tabloid fodder, Bardem is keen to shun the limelight, ditching Hollywood for Spain to raise their one year old son Leo.
"I try to avoid the celebrity trap," reported The Sun. "Being a celebrity in America is unpleasant. It is too high a price to pay for doing a job. In Europe we have well-known actors, but it’s nothing compared to the American ‘star’ thing, which is absolutely crazy.”
Bardem also revealed that he is not motivated by money, although with the previous success of the James Bond franchise, he will not be left wanting after the newest instalment, 'Skyfall' opens this Friday (26 October).