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Javier Bardem on Making ‘To the Wonder’: “When you work with Terrence Malick, you don’t expect anything”

Javier Bardem on Making 'To the Wonder': "When you work with Terrence Malick, you don't expect anything"

Javier Bardem was one of the few actors to work on “To the Wonder” and make it to the finish line of Terrence Malick’s latest opus (Rachel Weisz, Jessica Chastain, Michael Sheen, Amanda Peet and Barry Pepper did not). But both he and co-star Ben Affleck have been noticeably absent on the press circuit, leaving it to Malick’s leading ladies — Olga Kurylenko and Rachel McAdams — to do the heavy lifting.

However, despite not making it to either the Venice world premiere or last week’s North American unveiling in Toronto, it turns out that Bardem has seen the film. In an interview Thursday with Bardem, tied to “Sons of the Clouds: The Last Colony” — a documentary he produced about the colonization of the Western Sahara, playing in Toronto’s Mavericks’ section — Indiewire couldn’t help but get a Malick question in.

READ MORE: From Bond Girl to Terrence Malick Muse: ‘To the Wonder’ Star Olga Kurylenko on Working With the Enigmatic Director and How the Film “Teaches Us A Lot About Love”

“I was surprised when I saw myself in it,” he said laughing, when asked about his initial reaction.

“Someone earlier asked me, ‘Did you expect the movie to be like that?,'” he continued. “And I said, ‘When you work with Terrence Malick, you don’t expect anything because you don’t know what you’re doing.’ You just go there, show up and let yourself be guided by him to the wonder of things that may happen or not happen — and you may not even make it to the final cut.

“I’m deeply proud of being in one of his movies,” he added. “I truly believe that ‘Tree of Life’ is a masterpiece, and the experience of working with him has been great. So the end result, you may like it or not, but what I will always hold with me will be the experience of working with him.”

Asked whether he would leap at the opportunity to work with the enigmatic director again, Bardem was quick to say, “Yes.”

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Regarding the lawsuit against Sundance (2012 Abbinante vs. Sundance H12S00037) The lawsuit alleges that Sundance is committing fraud by not returning submission fees to filmmakers whos films were not screened and evaluated by Sundance. "Because Sundance has prior knowledge of the unmanageable volume of films received (11,700 films for the 2012 festival) and did not return fees to filmmakers whos films were not screened and evaluated, Sundance is guilty of fraud." quoted by Darryl Abbinante and continued to state "It's simply not humanly possible for any committee to screen and evaluate 11,700 films." Sadly, the judge ruled in favor of Sundance stating "Sundance is not legally required to screen and watch every film submission in it's entirety." The judge also stated "if you can not prove Sundance is not watching at least 30 seconds of each and every film submitted, then you can not prove fraud." So the mystery behind Sundance has been discovered. Sundance is not liable to watch every film submission from start to finish and evaluate them. This is information that would've been very useful to the over 11,700 filmmakers prior to them submitting their films and submissions fees to Sundance for the 2012 festival, bringing Sundance an additional income revenue of $500,000 to $625,000 for the 2012 season. Sundance is a well polished money making machine. They have found loop hole in the system and are exploiting filmmakers by the tens of thousands. I was one of them. I feel sorry for next year when (estimated) 13,500 filmmakers will blindly send in their films and submissions fees chasing a dream that no longer exists. Kudos to Sundance and their staff for effectively creating a business that thru the years grows larger every year, despite the recession, by continuing to dangle the carrot of success in front of every filmmaker's face with promises of discovery and a film sale. Pure Genius.

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