Film quotes pose as questions. Film stars try to cope. In the crosshairs this month: Antonio Banderas
Are you talkin’ to me?
Yes, I am. I went to bed at 1am and woke up at 3. But I’m alive and that’s enough for now.
If you wake up at a different time, in a different place, could you wake up as a different person?
I played football as a teenager. I’m not sure I was good enough to be professional, but I broke my left foot badly two days before Franco died – and I’m so thankful I did! Because I couldn’t play football, I got interested in acting.
You either surf or fight...
I’m so glad I didn’t have to fight Gina Carano in Haywire. At the premiere I was watching how she was kicking Michael [Fassbender]’s ass and everyone applauded at the end. I looked at Michael and he was mystified, like, “Why are they applauding?” I said, “It’s for her, it’s not because you get killed.”
Only two kinds of men get shot: criminals and victims. Which one are you?
I remember when I first went to America, I was told, “If you stay here, be prepared to play a lot of drug traffickers and delinquents.” Zorro was important for changing things. It wasn’t so common that the hero had a thick accent and looked Spanish, while the bad guy was blond and spoke perfect English.
Do you know anything about a gun?
Robert Rodriguez made Desperado for $4m, so we couldn’t afford many stunt doubles. I killed one guy like 10 times. I remember going to the hospital because I got back to my hotel room and my arms were frozen. I’d spent the entire day lunging on my elbows with my guns in my hands. They had to drain the liquid out of my elbow!
Will you hate me if I start our relationship by asking a favour?
Steven [Soderbergh] met me in New York when I was doing a workshop for a musical, Zorba The Greek. I was trying out a beard for the role, which my wife hated so was going to shave off, but Steven said, “It’s perfect for your character!” Six months after I finished, he phoned me and said, “I love your character, so I’ve written three new scenes for him.” I said, “But I don’t have the beard anymore.” So they built me one for $10,000.
You promised not to run away.
I was doing a play in Madrid and having coffee with friends, when this guy sat down with us and was very funny, kind of a witty genius. When he got up to leave, he said, “You’ve got a romantic face – you should do movies.” I asked, “Who was that guy?” They said, “Oh, his name is Pedro Almodóvar. He did a movie and will never do another one.” The world is filled with prophets.