EW Staff
August 17, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

When the Coen brothers’ take on the Cormac McCarthy novel premiered at Cannes, audiences were stunned by Bardem’s terrifying portrayal of Chigurh, a conscienceless killing machine hellbent on retrieving $2 million in drug money. With Tommy Lee Jones’ sheriff in pursuit, Chigurh plows through Texas, racking up bodies with a cattle stun gun. ”It’s not something I especially like, killing people — even in movies,” says Bardem. ”When the Coens called, I said, ‘Listen, I’m the wrong actor. I don’t drive, I speak bad English, and I hate violence.’ They laughed and said, ‘Maybe that’s why we called you.”’ It was a good choice: This chilling look at the nature of evil might just score Bardem, who was nominated in 2001 for Before Night Falls, his second Best Actor nod.

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