Antonio Banderas interview: Pain & Glory

“When I left Spain to work in Hollywood I felt a sense of loss like that you feel when you have ended a deep relationship with a close family member or close friend. There was this sense of abandonment.”

In the midst of a career renaissance, Antonio Banderas speaks about his ongoing colloboration with famed direct Pedro Almodóvar, acclaimed work in Pain & Glory, and coming back from his 2017 heart attack…


Q: Antonio, what did Pain and Glory mean to you in terms of your longstanding friendship with Pedro Almodóvar?

BANDERAS: It was like rediscovering our friendship. We have never been so happy working together and that was such a pleasure to be able to appreciate that because we had had so many arguments during the making of The Skin I Live In (2011)…There were times we almost came to blows on that film.

Q: How did you manage to bury the past and work in harmony on Pain and Glory?

BANDERAS: This time I told him I was coming into this project like a soldier and not like a general and I was ready to allow myself to be free of all preconceptions about my acting approach. This wasn’t a strategy on my part, I was genuinely interested in letting myself be guided by him. I told him that I will open my ears and eyes and try to see why he wants to work with me. I told him that I wanted to abandon myself in his hands.

Q: After shooting Pain and Glory and living through this at times cathartic experience with Almodóvar, how is your friend doing these days?

BANDERAS: Making the movie has left him with a new sense of energy. He feels rejuvenated and his spirits have been lifted. I think going on this journey with my character has allowed him to finally feel at peace.

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