In-Conversation with Antonio Banderas
Running Time: 60 minutes
When Antonio Banderas came to Hollywood he spoke very little English, but used his strong accent and unmistakably Latin presence to become one of the best actors of his generation. Born and trained as an actor in the southern Spanish city of Malaga, he moved to Madrid at the height of La Movida, the early-‘80s cultural explosion that followed the death of the dictator General Franco. It was there that he met rising director Pedro Almodovar and they have since made eight films together, including the international hit Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, which became Banderas’ introduction to America. His first US role as a charismatic Hispanic singer in Mambo Kings – for which he learned his lines phonetically – led to dramatic roles in such film as Philadelphia, Interview with the Vampire, Robert Rodriguez’s Desperado and the Spy Kids trilogy; The Mask of Zorro, as well as in animated form as ‘Puss in Boots’ in the Shrek franchise. In 2019, he reunited with Pedro Almodovar to play a film director fighting off illness in the autobiographical Pain and Glory, which had its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. Banderas won the festival’s award for Best Actor, the first of many honors for his remarkably moving performance, including an Academy Award Best Actor nomination.