How to deal with sexist jerks 101.
This year’s Cannes film festival kicked off with the screening of Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem’s gloomy melodrama Everybody Knows. And though the golden couple of Spanish cinema is focused on the winning the top Palm d’Or prize, they still find the time to fight sexism along the way.
During the press conference of their new film, a Chilean reporter skipped all questions related to the actual project and instead asked Bardem what it was like “being the only man in the world to enjoy working with his wife.”
The Oscar-winning actor, with contempt, said: “That question is in shockingly bad taste.” His epic clapback was followed by a round of applause by fellow actors and reporters in the room, as well as by thousands of messages celebrating Bardem’s words on social media.
And although the actor decided to simply dismiss the reporter’s inappropriate joke, it was the film’s director, Iranian master Asghar Farhadi, who answered the question, saying that Penelope and Javier “are the very symbol of a happy couple, a loving couple.” Added Farhadi: “It’s so refreshing to see how they separate their work from their private life, and what a deep respect they have for each other.”
This is the fourth time that Cruz and Bardem have worked together in a film. The couple met on the set of the 1992 Spanish dramedy Jamon Jamon when she was still a teenager. But it took working together on Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona, which gained her an Oscar statuette for her supporting role, to light the romantic flame.
“We don’t take the character home at the end of the day,” Penelope said of how they kip that spark alive. “Maybe I did that experiment when I was young… when I was in my 20’s. I thought the more I would torture myself and the more I would stay in character for months, the better the result would be. But I have realized that it’s not really related to that, and that I have a life and then I have my job. That allows me to jump many times in one day from reality to fiction, and I love that beautiful dance back and forth.”