- The Hollywood star played rugby for 14 years until he was 23
- The Oscar-winning actor represented Spain at international level
- But he insisted he had no regrets about swapping the rugby pitch for Hollywood
A Hollywood star has revealed he played rugby and even represented his country until he was 23 before eventually pursuing acting full-time.
The former Oscar winner played for Spain at international level and took part in the Rugby World Cup semi-final between Argentina and New Zealand last month.
And although he admitted rugby suffered from a lack of support in his country, the actor was in the mix for around 15 years.
No Country for Old Men star Javier Bardem revealed he has played for Spain ahead of the All Blacks’ semi-final win over Argentina.
“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 prop man for Spain before retiring at the age of 23
“I started when I was nine and played until I was 23. I love it, it’s my passion.”
“I always say that rugby in Spain is like a bullfighter in Japan.”
“It didn’t make sense at the time, but today, thank God, there is a lot of support for rugby in Spain.”
When asked why he fell in love with rugby, Bardem replied: “It is my favorite sport of all, because of the ethics, because of the unity of the team, because of the respect for the teammates and the referees.”
“The ethics of rugby are amazing.”
“I don’t like people whistling when players kick lately. “We’re better than that.
“We have a lot to teach the kids and one of the things I love about rugby is the ethics – respect for the kicker.”
The Skyfall star revealed that he acted as a prop man and played 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, we were called Los Mendrugos, which is the hard part of the bread.”
Unsurprisingly, however, Bardem has no regrets about trading the Oval for the glitz and glamor of Hollywood.
“I’m not facing a 300-pound train wreck that I have to deal with,” he said.
“I feel much safer making a film than being there.” [on the rugby pitch] for a minute.’