THE SEA INSIDE star Javier Bardem was shocked by the media game involved when campaigning for an ACADEMY AWARD nomination.

The Spanish actor lost out to Russell Crowe in the Best Actor category in 2000 for his performance as exiled Cuban poet REYNALDO ARENAS in BEFORE NIGHT FALLS - but was "naive" about the importance of self-promotion when it comes to winning.

Bardem says, "It's exhausting, almost a full-time job. Last time, I found it was too much about bringing attention to yourself.

"I'll be less naive this time, that's for sure, but then the first time I was having a laugh. Now I see that it's about work and you do it so people go to the movie.

"I'm proud of the fact that I got so many people to sit down and watch a story like Before Night Falls even at the expense, I felt, of some of my personal life.

"I can see the power of playing that game and I want even more people to see The Sea Inside - not for my performance but the story of (RAMON) SAMPEDRO, the politics and the human spirit."

28/01/2005 09:35