- The Hollywood star played rugby for 14 years until he was 23
- The Oscar-winning actor has represented Spain at international level
- But he insisted he has no regrets about ditching the rugby field for Hollywood
A Hollywood star has revealed he played rugby and even represented his country until he was 23, before eventually turning to acting full-time.
The one-time Academy Award winner has played at international level for Spain and attended the Rugby World Cup semi-final between Argentina and New Zealand last month.
And despite acknowledging that rugby suffered from a lack of support in his country, the actor was in trouble for about 15 years.
No Country for Old Men star Javier Bardem revealed ahead of the All Blacks’ semi-final victory against Argentina that he played for Spain.
“I played for Spain,” Bardem told former Scotland international Jim Hamilton.
This Hollywood star played rugby for Spain about 30 years ago, do you recognize him?
The Oscar-winning actor starred as a loosehead prop for Spain before retiring at the age of 23
‘I started when I was nine years old and played until I was 23. I love it, it’s my passion.
‘I always say that playing rugby in Spain is like being a bullfighter in Japan.
‘It didn’t make any sense at the time, but now, thank God, there is a lot of support in Spain for rugby.’
When asked why he fell in love with rugby, Bardem replied: ‘It is my favorite sport because of the ethics, because of the unity of the team, because of the respect for the fellow players and the referees.
‘The ethics of rugby are astonishing.
‘Lately I don’t like people whistling when the players are kicking. We are better than that.
“We have a lot of lessons to teach the kids and one of the things I like about rugby is the ethics: respect for the kicker.”
The Skyfall star revealed he was a prop and starred alongside his brother Carlos.
“I was a prop, believe it or not, a little prop, number three,” he explained.
Bardem revealed that he played rugby from the age of nine until he was 23
The 54-year-old actor attended the Rugby World Cup semi-final between New Zealand and Argentina last month
“My brother Carlos and I were called ‘Los Mendrugos,’ which is the hard part of the bread.”
However, it is no surprise that Bardem has no regrets about swapping the oval for the glitz and glamor of Hollywood.
“There’s no 300-pound train wreck coming my way to tackle,” he said.
‘I feel much safer making a film than standing there (on the rugby field) for one minute.’