Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Acting up

Marc Lièvremont may have become frustrated with Mark Regan's antics on Saturday night, but I'm afraid Regan's performance wasn't enough to earn the Bristol hooker an Oscar at Hollywood's Academy Awards on Sunday.

Instead the Oscar went to another rugby player as Javier Bardem received the Academy Award for his performance as Best Supporting Actor in No Country for Old Men.

So, my congratulations to Bardem, who is often described in publicity as "a former rugby player for the Spanish national team" which, like most publicity, stretches the truth somewhat as I can find no record of him having played for Spain at senior level.

What is not in dispute, however, is that he did play the game in his youth, the FIRA website confirming that he started out as a prop before moving to a proper position - flanker - for his Madrid club, Liceo Francés for whom he played for 14 years along with his brother Carlos. He also did represent his country at Under 17 level, playing against Portugal in 1986.

Bardem joins an elite squad of famous actors who have graced a rugby pitch at one time or another, including (apparently) the likes of Boris Karloff, Richard Harris, Richard Burton, Daniel Craig and (admittedly less famously) Ross Kemp (!)

And this rugby-player-turned-actor phenomenon isn't limited to Hollywood (or, in Kemp's case, Brentwood). No indeed, over in India they have their very own rugby player in Rahul Bose who is not only a hugely famous Bollywood star but also played 14 times for the Indian national rugby team from its recognition as an official rugby-playing nation by the IRB in 1998 until the Rugby World Cup qualifiers in 2005.

Impressed?

Don't say you never learn anything on this site!

1 comment:

Nursedude said...

Yo Flanker, don't forget Russell Crowe. He's beyound just an ex player, he owns the Rabbitohs, a Rugby League side(nobody's perfect) in Australia.
I stumbled onto a movie on TV the other day with Richard Harris playing a rugby player, "The Sporting Life"...really a downer movie...so hard to imagine this big hulking guy becoming Dumbledore in Harry Potter flicks.