Though he’s worked with the Spanish auteur Pedro Almodóvar across eight films, Antonio Banderas found the most meaningful one yet was his work on “Pain & Glory,” in which Banderas is playing a thinly fictionalized version of the director himself.
Banderas recognized many of the moments in the film from Almodóvar’s life, and the director actually gave Banderas permission to utilize some of his mannerisms as a way of getting into character. But at TIFF, Banderas explained why he stuck to the script and made the character his own.
“He already provided me with his looks, his hair and the costumes, and we did an exact replica of the studio in his house,” Banderas told TheWrap’s Steve Pond. “But he came to the point in one of the rehearsals he said, ‘Don’t be afraid to use some of my mannerisms.” I said, ‘Uhhh, don’t think so. I think it’s going to separate the audience from a real movie. It’s going to become a caricature.”
It was a good choice, as Banderas won the Best Actor prize for his performance at Cannes and is earning major Oscar buzz as well.
But Banderas also has a deep respect for Almodóvar that led him to work with him yet again on his highly personal story.
“Eight movies with a man who has a very strong personality, he never betrays himself, he’s very loyal to his ways, and the impact that he’s produced in 21 movies all around the world, being in eight of those, it opened the door to me to go to America,” Banderas said. “I could’ve done a career only with the eight movies I’ve done with Almodóvar. That would’ve been worth [it] to be an actor.”
“Pain and Glory” opens in theaters Oct. 4. Watch the interview with Banderas above.