Happy Birthday Antonio Banderas: Here Are 5 Films by the Actor One Must Watch
Actor, producer and singer Antonio Banderas began his acting career with a series of films by director Pedro Almodovar and from 1990 he started appearing in high-profile Hollywood films. Born as Jose Antonio Dominguez Bandera on August 10, 1960, Banderas received the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actor for the 2019 film Pain and Glory. The actor, as a child, had a dream of becoming a professional football player until a broken foot quashed his hopes at the age of 14.
While performing with the theatre, the actor caught the attention of Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar, who cast him in the 1982 movie Labyrinth of Passion. He would go on to appear in the director’s Law of Desire five years later, in the process making headlines with his performance as a gay individual. The role required him to engage in his first male-to-male onscreen kiss.
It was Banderas' breakthrough role in Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, that helped him get a foothold in Hollywood and in 1991, he was introduced to Hollywood by Madonna and began his acting career there.
As Antonio Banderas celebrates his 59th birthday, here's looking at 5 of his must watch movies.
Directed by Jonathan Demme and written by Ron Nyswaner, the American legal drama film is one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to acknowledge HIV/AIDS, homosexuality and homophopia. At a time when mainstream actors were known to portray macho characters on screen, Antonio Banderas along with Tom Hanks decided to go down a different path, portraying homosexual individuals in the acclaimed film.
A sequel to the 1993 film El Mariachi, Desperado is an American neo-Western action film written, produced and directed by Robert Rodriguez. In this film, Benderas seeks revenge on the drug lord who killed his lover.
The Mask of Zorro (1998)
Based on the character of the masked vigilante Zorro created by Johnston McCulley, the Martin Campbell directorial stars Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Stuart Wilson. The film features the original Zorro, Don Diego de la Vega (Hopkins), escaping from prison to find his long-lost daughter (Zeta-Jones) and avenge the death of his wife. He is aided by his successor (Banderas), who is pursuing his own vendetta against the governor's right-hand man while falling in love with de la Vega's daughter.
Interview with the Vampire (1994)
Based on Anne Rice's novel of the same name the film focuses on Lestat (Tom Cruise) and Louis (Brad Pitt), beginning with Louis's transformation into a vampire by Lestat in 1791. Though not the protagonist, Banderas had an important role to play in the plotline as the vampire Armand.
Spy Kids (2001)
Far removed from the serious or action movies Banderas usually did, the adventure comedy starring Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Alan Cumming, Teri Hatcher, Cheech Marin and Danny Trejo saw Banderas playing a spy who falls in love, gets married and has two children. Though the movie is all about the adventure of the kids, Banderas as a doting dad is fun to watch.
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