It may be that Javier Bardem is the only one who could play scary villains like Salazar in "Dead Men Tell No Tales," the newest installment in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" film franchise," but his demeanor becomes warm when he speaks of his children, saying "As a father, you have to get rid of what you've learned and reeducate yourself to be able to raise them."
"It's one of the biggest challenges as a father," said the Spanish actor in an interview with EFE during the promotion of the film, his first foray into a family-oriented production.
"We come with what's ours, with everything that was important for us, for good or for ill, and you have to unlearn that to help an unlearned person, from when they're born until they learn what they want," the winner of an Oscar for "No Country for Old Men" said.
"And that starts with the issue of ownership: we don't own our children. They're not ours, but rather we're at their service. We brought them here and it's up to them to decide."
The actor, when asked if he would stop his children from following the same artistic path as their parents, answered: "I don't know. What right do we have? This profession isn't easy. I'm one of the lucky ones and my wife (actress Penelope Cruz), is another (lucky one). We belong to that small percentage of those who can live well from their work."
Bardem said having made his career in Hollywood is a "miracle" and a "fortuitous accident," thanks to "good, talented and loving" people who believed in him for projects such as "Before Night Falls" (2000) - his first Oscar nomination - or "Collateral (2004), his first big US production.
"I don't know what profession my children will choose and, if it's this one, I don't know how the profession will treat them. Not the people, but the profession itself, because I study and work with actors with extraordinary talent who have no opportunities," he said.
In "Dead Men Tell No Tales," due to hit movie theaters on Friday, Bardem plays the ghostly and terrifying Salazar, a captain of the Spanish crown with a half-disfigured face, his mouth bathed in blood and floating hair, who seeks revenge on Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) for having destroyed his life years ago.
In the film, in which Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley and even ex-Beatle Paul McCartney, also play small parts, Sparrow must find the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful object that allows one to control the seas.