Belfast Telegraph

Javier Bardem relies on regular therapy sessions

Javier Bardem knew wife Penelope Cruz would star in his planned Pablo Escobar project, even before they became a couple.

Javier Bardem has spoken about how he has benefitted from attending regular therapy sessions.

The Spanish actor has built up a reputation for taking on challenging characters, including hitman Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men and Raoul Silva in James Bond film Skyfall.

To help deal with his intense roles and own personal difficulties, Bardem has two therapists, one who speaks English and one who speaks Spanish.

“Everybody should do therapy,” he told U.S. Esquire magazine. “We are full of things we cannot answer for ourselves. Some of them will be answered, some not. But the health is in asking questions.”

Bardem also finds time to reflect when he’s off-duty, especially when spending time with his wife Penelope Cruz and son Leo, six, and three-year-old daughter Luna. Accordingly, he finds parenting to give him great personal gratification.

“Before becoming a parent, you never experience that kind of love, which is called 'unconditional love'. It's terrifying,” he shared, adding that he misses his kids greatly when shooting films. “Being away more than two weeks almost breaks my heart… My body starts to feel physical symptoms.”

One person Bardem will be spending more time with is Cruz, as the couple are currently filming movie Escobar, about notorious Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar and his relationship with journalist Virginia Vallejo. Bardem has had the project in mind for a long time, and had eyed Cruz for the part of Vallejo even before they were romantically involved.

“I knew since the beginning, since I dreamed it, that Penelope was going to be perfect for the lover, and were not even together. And of course, she could not refuse,” he added.

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