The Good Boss director Fernando León de Aranoa reveals Javier Bardem’s character, Blanco, was meant for him. The Spanish-language dark comedy just premiered at the San Sebastian Film Festival, and ahead of the screening, the filmmaker and Bardem shared details of the film and characters.
According to Deadline, Blanco is “a charismatic but controlling factory boss who will go to extreme lengths to protect the world he has created for himself.” The publication revealed that the role also demanded a lot from Bardem.
“It’s not based on a single person or somebody I know. It’s based on several different small stories that came to me; I heard about someone who had this kind of situation in his place of work, with his boss going too far into the personal relationships of his workers,” León De Aranoa told the outlet, explaining the inspiration behind Blanco.
“The first thing that came to my mind was the main character, the patron [boss] himself. I thought about this person who takes care of everything at his company,” he added. “On one side there is the humor, funny situations where he’s trying to handle the personal relationships of his workers – even though by the end he goes too far – and then something that I think is important today, the subject of personal relationships and professional relationships and how they interact, when our professional life steps too far into our personal one.”
León De Aranoa also said that he has a hard time not thinking about Bardem when he has a movie with a role available. “For me, it’s difficult not to have him in mind; we work a lot together, we have a good personal relationship,” the director revealed. “Sometimes, it’s difficult for me to think of somebody else. I want to have the pleasure of working with him, and I know he will improve what I wrote on the paper. It was actually two years ago here in San Sebastian that I gave him the first draft and offered him the role.”
Bardem told the publication that he had a great time in character. “In order to enjoy the process, you need to do the homework, so you feel free, liberated enough to enjoy it. Filmmaking is not a natural flow; it’s always interrupted by something: timing, lighting, make-up, clothing,” he explains. “The concentration it demands is huge. The bottom line as always is the material. If the material is rich enough to play with, then you will have fun. If it is not, the actor will find himself mostly trying to fix the gaps with his performance. Here, the material was like clockwork. That gives you the confidence to jump in.”
The actor also revealed that he is ready to continue working, and his schedule is completely booked. “I’m starting next Monday the shoot of Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile [the musical comedy from Josh Gordon and Will Speck]. And then Being The Ricardos, the Aaron Sorkin movie, is coming out, I guess at the end of this year, I’m not sure,” he concluded.