Spanish actor Antonio Banderas has opened up about the heart attack he suffered two months ago after 37 years as a ‘workaholic’, but says he is now well and believes the best of his career is yet to come.
Banderas was in his native Spanish city of Malaga on Saturday to receive a lifetime career award at the Malaga Spanish Film Festival, and told reporters that when he reflects on his beginnings and closes his eyes, all that has happened during his career seems ‘like a dream’.
During the press conference Banderas was quizzed on his health.
‘I had a heart attack on Jan 28, but I was very lucky, it was benign and caused no damage,’ he said.
‘I underwent an operation where they implanted three stents in my coronary arteries, and since I had suffered from arrhythmia for quite some time, I underwent thermoablation, but it wasn’t as dramatic as they say.’
He blamed the attack on the ‘real beating’ he’d given his heart over 37 years spent being a workaholic but said he now feels very well and is keen to get back to work.
In the 1970s Banderas debuted as an actor at Malaga’s Romano Theater: ‘I came dressed as a Roman on a Vespino motorbike,’ he remembered.
In the early 1990s he ventured to the US with The Mambo Kings and recalled staying at a New York hotel, and not being able to speak English wasn’t able to call for room service.
‘Under the hotel there was a corner store where somebody called Rodriguez worked. I looked for him, ordered some mortadella and ate a sandwich,’ he said.
Banderas said he owes ‘so much’ to Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, despite him being a tough director who is complicated to work with some shoots turning into ‘a kind of creative hell.’
But Banderas believes the best of his career is yet to come and wants to start directing again, something he says he enjoyed doing in two of his films, despite perhaps being ‘a little too green’ at the time
He is also waiting to play fellow Malaga native Pablo Picasso in a Carlos Saura film showing the creative process of the famous painting ‘Guernica’, which was Picasso’s response to the bombing of a northern Spanish village of that name by Nazi German and Fascist Italian warplanes before World War II.
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