- Category : Actor
- Type : GE
- Profile : 6/2 - Role Model / Hermit
- Definition : Triple Split
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Masks 2
José Antonio Domínguez Banderas (born 10 August 1960), better known as Antonio Banderas, is a Spanish film actor and singer who has starred in several high-profile Hollywood films including Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, Assassins, Interview with the Vampire, Mariachi Trilogy, Philadelphia, The Mask of Zorro and the Shrek sequels.
Banderas' career began at the age of 19, when he worked in small theaters during the Movida period. Banderas first gained wide attention through a series of films by director Pedro Almodóvar, between 1982 and 1990. These included Laberinto de pasiones (1982), Matador (1986), La ley del deseo (1987), Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios (1988), and ¡Átame! (1989). His breakthrough role was as the character "Ricky" in ¡Átame! (English-language title: Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!), which was a minor success in the United States.
Banderas subsequently moved to the U.S. and began appearing in American films; some of his earlier roles there included the 1992 film, The Mambo Kings, as well as a supporting role in the Oscar-winning 1993 film, Philadelphia. He appeared in several major Hollywood releases in 1995, including a starring role in the Robert Rodriguez-directed film, Desperado. In 1996, Banderas starred alongside Madonna in Evita, an adaptation of the musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Banderas played the role of the young revolutionary Che Guevara and sang that character’s songs.
Banderas has also frequently collaborated with his Desperado director, Rodriguez, who cast Banderas in the Spy Kids film trilogy and the final installment in the "Mariachi" trilogy (which he appeared in with Johnny Depp), Once Upon A Time In Mexico. Banderas' sole credit as a director was the poorly-received Crazy in Alabama (1999), starring his wife Melanie Griffith. He also has received praise for being the first Spanish actor to portray the legendary Spanish swordsman, Zorro in The Mask of Zorro (1998) and its sequel, The Legend of Zorro (2005).
In 2003, Banderas returned to the musical genre, appearing to great acclaim in the Broadway revival of Maury Yeston's musical Nine, based on the film 8½, playing the prime role originated by the late Raul Julia. Banderas won both the Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk awards, and was nominated for the Tony Award for best actor in a musical. His performance is preserved on the Broadway cast recording released by PS Classics.
Banderas' voice role as Puss in Boots in Shrek 2 made the character popular on the family film circuit, and a spin-off movie starring his character is scheduled for release in 2008. His latest film, Take the Lead, a high-school movie in which he plays a real-life ballroom dancing teacher, opened on 7 April 2006.
Banderas also hosted Saturday Night Live's 600th episode (in season 31). The musical guest was Mary J. Blige.
Banderas' upcoming projects include starring as the title character in a new Broadway production of the 1995 film, Don Juan DeMarco, as well as in the films Conquistador, a historical epic in which he will play Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés (filming begun in September 2006 in Spain, Mexico and South America), and Shrek 3 (currently scheduled for a 2007 release), in which he will once again voice Puss In Boots.
Currently in the United States, a voice-over can be heard for an computer-animated bee in television commercials for Nasonex, an allergy medication. While it is easy to believe this to be Antonio's voice, it is actually the voice of actor Joachim de Almeida.