Lahore (27 May, 2019): Spanish actor Antonio Banderas known for his portrayal of Zorro and Pablo Picasso wins ‘Best Actor’ at Cannes.
Antonio Banderas who is widely recognized for playing the iconic Pablo Picaso and the titular character of Zorro launched his successful film career in the early 1980s. It was however, his portrayal of Almodovar’s alter ego in “Pain & Glory” that won him the prestigious best actor award at the Cannes film festival.
In the movie, he plays the central character of an ageing Spanish director plagued by physical and psychological frailty. Banderas can be seen sporting Almodovar’s spiky hair and colorful clothes as he revisits his childhood memories in the movie. Almodovar, 69, has himself repeatedly praised Banderas, 58, for giving the “best performance” of his life.
According to sources, Banderas has credited Almodovar for the award due to the director being a key figure in multiple of Banderas’s films as well as helping him with his box office success. Antonio Banderas stated:
According to sources, despite six attempts to win the Palme d´Or award at Cannes over the past 20 years, Almodovar has never won the top prize and was conspicuously absent from Saturday night´s ceremony. When Banderas began his acting career he was a “passionate animal” who “impressed just by his presence”, Almodovar told Spanish film magazine Fotogramas earlier this year.
“But now he has matured” after going through three heart operations following a 2017 heart attack “and even though he is full of vitality… I can see in his face the experience of someone who knows that he could be dead”, he continued.
Speaking to Spain´s Cadena Ser radio, Banderas said he loved the director because Almodovar had made him “reflect on a huge number of things throughout my life”. Back in 1987, Almodovar got him to play a gay killer in “Law of Desire” at a time when depicting crime in movies “was morally accepted” while two people sharing a same-sex kiss “was spurned as anathema”, he said.
Sources claim, in the summer of 1980, Banderas bid farewell to his parents and boarded a train for Madrid where he wished to “invent” himself. At the time, he was not quite 20. The following year, Banderas, then an actor at the National Theatre in Madrid, was sitting in a cafe when a man approached and said: