Antonio Banderas “Melanie Griffith? Yes, I still love it” – EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

Last may, the Cannes film Festival, Antonio Banderas has been a great success in interpreting Pedro Almodovar in Dolor y Glory, the autobiography of the great Spanish director. “A round of applause, so loud I had never received
in his entire career. I said to Penelope Cruz: “my goodness, what a standing ovation is overwhelming! Can’t get any better than this””. Yes: a week after he won the award as best actor, and then, in the race for the Oscar is on par with superstars like Robert De Niro, Leonardo di Caprio and Joaquin Phoenix. Before he had got well as the Goya (the Oscar
Spanish, ndr) to the career

Feels arrived?
“For god’s sake, no! If you consider yourself arrived, it remains only the descent. I want to continue to go up, I still have many projects”.

What is the meaning of these awards?
“Time is not I would have given him that much, now I start to feel a certain pride. Because I can say I have never ever accepted a part only for the cachet or for the hope of winning a prize. My goal has always been to make the best interpretation of my life, even if at times there was a lack of assumptions: there are movies for which I would prefer not to be remembered”.

His daughter Stella seems to want to follow the footsteps of his parents and studied for a year at the Adler, the famous acting school where he learned the trade from mum Melanie.
“It was his decision, we did not push us. One day he told me: “Dad, let me try. If I don’t like, I stop and do another”. I replied: “Go on, you know perfectly well what is this job, and the sacrifices that entails”. Having grown up with two parents who are actors (READ, Stella knows the subtle distinction between fame and rejection. How many times we have seen him cry for a “no”! He has seen the dark side of this work. My long absences from home to shoot a film, the Birth without a tree…”.

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Automata (2014) was the last film shot with Melanie. Shortly after you announced the end of your marriage, which lasted 18 years. Reciterete together again?
“We met on the set and on the set we separated. Melanie is a talented actress and, as such, the respect and love still. We parted in a friendly way and we have a great relationship. When you are in Los Angeles, we are always. We have decided not to “bury” 20 years together: it has remained part of my family.”

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His girlfriend Nicole Kimpel think the same way?
“Of course. We’re together five years and over time has developed a great understanding for the ex-spouses who maintain a cordial relationship for the children. For her it is easier, comes from another environment (in charge of investments,
ed.), sees everything from a different point of view”.

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That could all change when you marry Nicole?
“She is already my wife . We don’t need a piece of paper to have the confirmation, we live together and this is enough. We think that getting married is useless and also very expensive.”

You don’t have economic problems…
“When we got married me and Melanie, there were only ten people: it was my biggest victory on the paparazzi, on the
print is not over, not even a photo. If I ever get married again, it would always be a secret”.

He lives with Nicole Kimpel in Surrey, near London. He bought a piece of land and there he has placed a house made of glass and wood. This will be his new residence?
“My true homeland is Malaga, Spain, where I was born. There I grew up, there I have relatives and close friends. There was born the Star. Heart and soul belong to Malaga. There, I bought a penthouse with a view of the ancient roman theatre. Every time that I’m away, it is as if a magical force me back to Malaga”.

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What is Malaga?
“A lot of things. I have a foundation, Lagrimas y Favores, which supports cancer patients, families, the poor and students without means of support. Then there is another project that is close to my heart: bring back the old theatre in Soho to its former glory. I bought it, and I would like to turn it into a jewel. Malaga already has a theatre the “conventional”, but I think it’s the right time to create a second theatre, a space for young talents”.

He accepted a position as minister of Culture? It is said that it to him, have offered.
“It is not true, because, in order to discourage similar ideas, I have always stated that I never accepted any office

“It can get dangerous. Species for a and famous actor in Hollywood. I had a good career in America, I don’t want to mess it up. One wrong word and splat: a career is over in a flash”.

In Spain, he often to the religious processions. Would you say you are a “fervent catholic”?
“No, I would rather say that I am a catholic “cultural”. For me, the traditions are sacred, and I pledge to keep it. I am part of a fraternity whose members carry on their shoulders the altar of Mary, and the look that weighs tons! Despite the padded shoulders, is very painful and demanding on a physical level”.

In the future, will have to give up…
“That’s what I was ordered by the doctors after the heart attack two years ago. I stopped smoking, I take time every
the medicines and to follow to the letter all the advice of the doctors. The heart attack was a shock”.

The has changed?
“Yes. Has made me more sentimental and deeper. Almodovar is convinced that the stroke has brought to the surface of the
fragility hidden, making suitable to interpret his alter ego in Dolor y Gloria. In fact, I have noticed a change inside me, the tendency to be overwhelmed by the emotions or the sadness, even for very small things.
But I’m not afraid of death”.

A 59-year-old has a lot of time in front of him…
“From when the heart, I launched this as a warning, this is what I wonder: what is left for me? I also wonder if, working less, I could avoid the heart attack”.

Found an answer?
“I would not be able to stop. Being immobile is not for me. I have asked what is the secret of my success. The answer lies in one word: continue. I never pulled back when it was start again. Who does not risk, does not win”.

Edmund Brettschneider/story/RvB