Home Celebrities 31 Amazing Facts About Antonio Banderas You Probably Didn’t Know

31 Amazing Facts About Antonio Banderas You Probably Didn’t Know

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Antonio Banderas, famous for playing Zorro in the eponymous film series, had dreamed to become a soccer star, but ended up becoming the world famous actor that he is. Since the time he made his first appearance in the year 1982, he has the entire world swooning with his accent. But, there’s more to the actor than that meets the eye. Here are some really interesting things about the actor that you may not know:

  1. Banderas is a Spanish actor, film producer, and director whose good look, sensuality, and emotional range made him a leading international star.
  2. He was born Jose Antonio Dominguez Bandera, on August 10, 1960, in Malaga, Andalusia, Spain, as one of two children to Jose Dominguez Prieto, a Civil Guard Police Officer and Ana Bandera Gallego, a school teacher. He has a brother Francisco Javier.
  3. As a teenager he was a soccer protégé before a foot injury at age 14 dashed his hope. The following year he developed an interest in acting after seeing a stage performance of the rock musical ‘Hair.’
  4. He joined ‘ARA Theatre-School and the College of Dramatic Art, in Malaga, before embarking on a five-year acting stint with the Spanish National Theatre in Madrid.
  5. He made his acting debut at a small theatre in Malaga that toured all over Spain and was giving performances in small town theatres and on the street. The political censorship under the rule of General Francisco Franco, had him arrested by Spanish police for his performance in a Bertolt Brecht’s play and spent a night at the police station.
  6. He was spotted by Spanish director Pedro Almodovar and cast him in 1982 film ‘Labyrinth of Passion,’ as Sadec. This was Banderas debut film for all practical purpose and received good review for his role as a gay Islamic terrorist.
  7. Enrique Belloch’s ‘False Eyelash,’ was in fact Banderas debut film but never saw theatrical release following bad review in San Sebastian Film Festival. However, in 1993, it was broadcast in television.
  8. He grew as an actor under Almodovar’s direction with some unconventional roles as rapist, mental patient, and kidnapper, in films such as ‘Matador,’ ‘Law of Desire,’ ‘Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,’ and ‘Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down.’
  9. Banderas showed little concern for his image when he courageously portrayed gay character in 1987 film ‘Law of Desire.’ He made headlines in Spain with his first male-to-male on screen kiss in the film.
  10. He gained international recognition as Ricky, the charismatic mental patient in the 1989 dark romantic comedy film ‘Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down.’ It was his breakthrough role that helped him branch out to Hollywood.
  11. Despite knowing only handful of English words, he began acting in Hollywood films, learning all his line phonetically. He made his debut in 1992, as Nestor Castillo, the young struggling Cuban musician in Arne Glimcher’s ‘The Mambo Kings.’
  12. Banderas took intense English language courses, which helped him breakthrough mainstream American audience with legal drama film ‘Philadelphia.’ He shot into international fame with his sensitive performance as a lover of Tom Hanks, the AIDS-infected lawyer.
  13. He began establishing himself with number of film starting with Carlos Saura’s ‘Outrage,’ Bille August’s ‘The House of the Spirits,’ Betty Kaplan’s ‘Of Love and Shadows,’ and Neil Jordan’s ‘Interview with the Vampire,’ sharing screen with Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise.
  14. Banderas further established his rising star by making six movies in 1995, including his first starring role in the Robert Rodriquez’s ‘Desperado,’ co-starring with Salma Hayek. He performed all of his own guitar work, as a gun-toting musician, including ‘Cancion Del Mariachi,’ during the opening credits.
  15. Banderas and his co-star Melanie Griffith in the film ‘Two Much,’ leave each other at the wedding altar for other people. However, in real life, the two actors fell in love during the filming of this movie in 1995 and married a year later.
  16. In 1966, he co-starred with Madonna in the musical drama film ‘Evita,’ playing the role of Che, the film’s narrator. He was accused by some critics of overexposure, but Banderas conceded that he was ambitious, but said that in Spain actors prove their success in this manner.
  17. He earned his first ‘Golden Globe Award-Best Actor’ nomination for his role as Zorro, in the 1998 swashbuckling film ‘The Mask of Zorro.’ Banderas was extremely adamant about performing many of his own stunts for authenticity.
  18. To play the role of 19th-century Mexican swashbuckler, Zorro, Banderas, took training with the Olympic national fencing team in Spain, and practiced his move with real steel swords. He also took month long course in horse riding before the filming.
  19. He made his directorial debut in 1999, with the comedy film ‘Crazy in Alabama,’ with David Morse and Melanie Griffith, his wife then. Though the film received poor review, Banderas, was awarded the ‘2000 ALMA Award,’ for ‘Outstanding Director of a Feature Film,’ and also the ‘European Film Award.’
  20. The unity of the family as the chief themes, Banderas co-starred with Ingrid Cortez, in the spy adventure comedy family film series ‘Spy Kids.’ He went on to appear in all four parts of the series, but was uncredited in ‘Spy Kids: All the Time in the World,’ asall his scenes were cut completely.
  21. In 2002, he agreed to do Brian De Palma’s ‘Femme Fatale,’ as Nicolas Bardo, opposite Rebecca Romijn, though it wasn’t the lead. He took the role only to learn directorial skills from Brian De Palma, on mutual agreement.
  22. In 2003, he won both the ‘Outer Critics Circle,’ and ‘Drama Desk,’ awards apart from nomination for Tony Award, for appearing in Broadway revival of Maury Yeston’s musical ‘Nine.’ Later that year he received the ‘Rita Moreno HOLA Award,’ for excellence from the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors.
  23. On October 18, 2005, he was honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6801 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
  24. In November 2013, he criticized’ then United States President Barack Obama and suggested Europe and the U.S should apply the same economic policies as Venezuela’s late president Hugo Chavez, in nationalizing big corporations, as a solution to the global economic crisis.
  25. In June 2015, Banderas was one of numerous Hollywood celebrities, who demonstrated their support for Israel, by taking part in a fund raising event organized by Friend of the Israel Defense Forces.
  26. He is recipient of honorary degree from Dickinson College, in 2000 and an honorary doctorate from the University of Malaga, in May 2010.
  27. Banderas was initially married to Ana Leza before divorcing her in 1996, to marry actress Melanie Griffith, in 1996 and they have a daughter, Stella del Carmen Banderas, born on September 24, 1996. On mutual consent they agreed to get separated legally in December 2015.
  28. On January 26, 2017, he suffered a heart attack and underwent surgery to put three stents in his arteries. He considers this experience as being life changing. He said ‘it just gave me a perspective of who I was.’
  29. He has been working with fragrance and beauty multinational company ‘Puig,’ in Spain, and is its most successful brand ambassador. He has his own perfume / cologne brand for men and ‘Blue Seduction Women.’
  30. Banderas as an officer of a Roman Catholic religious’ brotherhood of Malaga, he travels during Holy Week to take part in the processions. Despite being raised Catholic, Banderas described himself as an agnostic, in an interview to People magazine.
  31. Antonia Banderas Net Worth: $45 Million
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