Antonio Banderas Video Interview On 'The Skin I Live In'
Antonio Banderas, one of the biggest movie stars Spain has ever produced, reunites with the renowned director Pedro Almodovar for the first time since 1990’s Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! In the new film The Skin I live In. The film, which also stars Elena Anaya, is a gripping psychological thriller that is already attracting lots of award season buzz, which is in no small part due to Banderas’ powerful performance. Banderas plays Robert Ledgard, an obsessive verging on psychopathic surgeon who develops artificial skin, which leads to numerous identify and gender crises.
Fortunately, Banderas and his character don’t have much in common. When asked if he ever succumbed to the dangers of obsession, Banderas responded, “No. Never to that degree, because I think, actually, the character is engulfed in psychopathy — something that is bigger than the issues of revenge. It may just be deceiving for certain audience members when they watch the movie. I think revenge would happen to his daughter is just no excuse. [It] triggers something that goes deeper and darker in his soul and has to do with that psychopathy.”
Almodovar, known for his work on Oscar winning films like 2002’s Talk To Her, is known to be a demanding and meticulous director. Nonetheless, it seems to be worth it. “Eventually, it may be painful, but at the end, he resolved that things from you are totally different to what the people may expect. So he discovered in the actors spaces that not even [we] knew that we had, and that is always beautiful to have the possibility to just have access to those worlds,” remarks Banderas.
Hear more of what Banderas has to say in our exclusive interview.
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And for more on Antonio Banderas:
- Q: Please tell us about your experience from working with the great Pedro Almodovar. - Kay Vangphaen
- A: Working with Pedro Almodovar as an actor, you have to take a leap of faith. Believe very much in him. He’s a real creator. He gives very little space though for you to bring your own world into the movie. You have to bring it, but under the parameters that he establishes in the rehearsal time, which is very long. It’s a very extensive period of time, almost two months before principal photography. He doesn’t like when you come with a bad feel with experiences accumulated with during the years of work … he calls [them] “intrigues.” So he prefers you to be naked from a creative point of view and start almost from scratch, from zero. That’s what he likes. He loves for you to reinvent yourself in front of the camera every time that he works with you, so that’s what we did this time. Eventually, it may be painful, but at the end, he resolved that things from you are totally different to what the people may expect. So he discovered in the actors spaces that not even [we] knew that we had, and that is always beautiful to have the possibility to just have access to those worlds.
- Q: How would you have changed some scenes or your character if you were the one presenting the movie? - Patrícia Peres
- A: Probably, I would have [gone] in a different direction if he wouldn’t have been there. That’s why I am so thankful to him and the way I had to do an exercise of being humble. Humility and again — bow in front of my dear friend, Pedro, that I not only just respect and admire very much, but I love, because he represents a lot in my professional life and in my personal life too — because he opened spaces intensive of morality to understand the world we live in, and he helped me to live better and to understand the world better.
- Q: The whole movie is about obsession. Have you ever personally even been really obsessed with anyone in the way your character is? - Patrícia Peres
- A: No. Never to that degree, because I think, actually, the character is engulfed in psychopathy — something that is bigger than the issues of revenge. It may just be deceiving for certain audience members when they watch the movie. I think revenge would happen to his daughter is just no excuse. [It] triggers something that goes deeper and darker in his soul and has to do with that psychopathy. The possibility that this guy finds to play God and to play a creator of somebody who can actually bend the laws of nature and all done from a very, very contained, cold ... almost ice cold personality that doesn’t reveal anything about what he’s all about. You never know the next step he’s going to take.
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