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  HOME | Arts & Entertainment

Banderas: Cannes Triumph Was Bittersweet

MIAMI – Spanish actor and producer Antonio Banderas said in an interview with EFE on Wednesday that he received his Best Actor award at the recently concluded Cannes Film Festival with a mixture of surprise, pride and sadness.

The 58-year-old Banderas, who also has been honorary president of the Miami Fashion Week since 2016, made his remarks before inaugurating the 21st edition of that event.

He said the experience of capturing Best Actor for his role in “Dolor y Gloria” (Pain and Glory) was “bittersweet because I won, but they didn’t recognize (director) Pedro (Almodovar).”

Although the iconic Spanish director was in the running for the Best Director prize, that honor went to the Belgian duo of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne for their work on “Young Ahmed.”

The Palme d’Or (best-picture prize) went to “Parasite,” a film directed by South Korea’s Bong Joon-ho.

Banderas said that for him “the 12 minutes of applause we received” at the festival was just as important as the award itself.

“The film opened in France to great success and will arrive in the United States at the end of the summer, where I’m sure it will be a big success.”

Banderas said he had not thought about winning in Cannes and also has no expectations about a possible Oscar for his performance as Salvador Mallo – a famed but aging filmmaker beset by physical ailments – in “Dolor y Gloria,” a semi-autobiographical work by Almodovar, who also collaborated with Banderas on films such as “Atame” (Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down) and “La piel que habito” (The Skin I Live In).

“Expectations only create frustration,” he said, though adding that he was thrilled to be recognized last Saturday by that world-renowned festival.

Banderas, meanwhile, is still looking to make his mark in the design world.

He studied at the Central Saint-Martins art and design school in London in 2015 and the following year launched a clothing line for men, with plans to follow up with another based on recycled products.

That initiative has been shelved for now, with Banderas’ design venture currently focused on sunglasses, watches and perfumes.

But no project makes Banderas’ eyes light up more than his plans for Teatro del Soho Caixabank, a theater he purchased in his hometown of Malaga.

“It’s a way of thanking my city for everything it’s given me,” he said.

Banderas plans to open the theater in October with a production of “A Chorus Line,” in which he will play one of the starring roles – Zach, a demanding choreographer – and also serve as co-director.

Besides “Dolor y Gloria,” Banderas also appears in another film due out in 2019 – “The Laundromat,” a movie about the Panama Papers scandal that is directed by Steven Soderbergh and also stars Meryl Streep and Gary Oldman.

Although Banderas left behind his role in “Dolor y gloria” many months ago, the film’s international premiere at Cannes made him revisit its theme of an artist’s pain and glory.

“People think that our life is one big red carpet, and that’s what we want them to see. But hidden away is a lot of pain, which we hide because it doesn’t sell,” he said.


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