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Antonio Banderas - Idol Chatter
Antonio Banderas - Idol Chatter

ANTONIO, BABY, WHEN FOLKS SEE YOUR STEAMY TANGO IN TAKE THE LEAD, THE TRUE TALE OF A HOOFER WHO TAKES BALLROOM DANCING TO AN INNER CITY HIGH SCHOOL, THEY’RE GONNA WANT TO RIP YOUR CLOTHES OFF.
Why, thank you. (laughs) That was with a three-time World Champion and it felt like somebody threw me on the wall when she started dancing. Mama mia! She left me worse than when I did Zorro!

WHAT? AT 45 YOU’RE FEELING YOUR AGE?
Well, I was pretty upset during that last Zorro because I could feel my bones cracking in a totally different way than they did before.

OH, WELL, AS MIA FARROW SAID IN MIAMI RHAPSODY, YOU’RE STILL VERY BEAUTIFUL.
(laughs) I loved that scene! See, I hate kisses in Hollywood where they don’t really kiss; it’s like if I jump off my horse and break my leg—which I do, sometimes—when I kiss a girl I want to kiss her for real. So after Take 4 I said, “Mia, are we getting this scene right?,” and she said, “I don’t know about the scene,

Antonio, but the kiss was fantastic.” (laughs)

HMMM…..IT’S BEEN SAID THAT ACTING WITH A WOMAN IS ‘LEGAL CHEATING’ AND
Sometimes it can get illegal. It depends on how infatuated you are.

YES. SO. BEFORE YOU MARRIED MELANIE GRIFFITH NEARLY TEN YEARS AGO, WERE YOU LIKE GUIDO CONTINI, FELLINI’S PHILANDERING CHARACTER THAT YOU PLAYED ON BROADWAY IN NINE?
Yes, probably, in the way that you have been caught by many different ‘candies’ in your life—candies called ‘women.’ (laughs) But I am past Guido now.

MIGHT THERE BE A NINE FILM?
Yes. Even a chance I might direct it. I love musicals—I’m one of those guys that gets chills just listening to the orchestra tuning.

NICE TO HEAR A STRAIGHT GUY SAY HE LOVES MUSICALS.
Absolutely. Or maybe it’s my unknown gay side. (laughs)

WELL, YOU KNOW, EVER SINCE YOUR EARLY ALMODOVAR FILMS, LABYRINTH OF PASSION AND LAW OF DESIRE, NOT TO MENTION, PHILADELPHIA AND INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, YOU’RE KINDA CONSIDERED AN ‘HONORARY GAY.’
I just love that! I’ve never heard that before, but I suppose I am, yes!

SO, BEING AN OBJECT OF LUST TO BOTH SEXES, TELL US: WHO SENDS THE NUTTIEST FAN MAIL?
Straight women, 50, 55, they are the toughest. (laughs) Like, when I was doing Nine a fan club came to the theatre and I thought I was going to find a group of 25 to 30 year old girls, but there were 150 women all in their 55 to 60’s and they were wild, babe! I got almost raped!

WHICH BRINGS TO MIND YOUR FAMOUS DE-VIRGINIZING SCENE IN LAW OF DESIRE…..
Oh, that was wild, too! I had open legs and am just going with my hand to some cream by the bed in order to, um….get it easy. (laughs)

UH HUH. SO, HEY, IS YOUR RETEAMING WITH ALMODOVAR IN TARANTULA STILL HAPPENING?
It could, it could. The last communication I had was through [slated Tarantula co-star] Penelope Cruz who said, “You’re gonna receive some calls from Pedro soon.” I know that at some point we are gonna find each other again, that’s for sure.

IN THE MEANTIME, YOU’RE DIRECTING YOUR SECOND FILM, PLANNING A RETURN TO BROADWAY AND YOUR SHREK 2 PUSS IN BOOTS WILL NOT ONLY BE BACK IN THIS SUMMER’S SEQUEL, HE’S GOT HIS OWN VIDEO SPIN-OFF SCHEDULED.
That cat. That little fucker. People love him now more than me. (laughs) Women have even said to me, (cooing) “Ooo, I want to take that cat to my bed.” I say, (sneering) “To hell with you!”

BUT IT MAKES SENSE FOR YOU TO BE INTERNATIONALLY KNOWN AS A KITTY SINCE YOU’RE THE SON-IN-LAW OF THE REAL, LIVE CAT WOMAN, TIPPI HEDREN.
It’s fantastic. I mean, every mother-in-law has, like, a little dog, but she’s got seventy-two lions! Is that surrealism or what?

YEP---WIFE, KIDS, FAB MOTHER-IN-LAW, YOU’VE GOT IT ALL. WITH OVER 50 FILMS TO YOUR CREDIT, WHAT’S REALLY LEFT TO ACCOMPLISH?
All these years of working in Hollywood bought my financial freedom. Now I’ve started to do those things that I love without thinking, “What is it gonna give me career-wise?” Because, really: Unless I want to have a plane and a castle, I am absolutely fine.

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