Paris – Spanish actor Antonio Banderas, the star of Pedro Almodovar's latest film, "The Skin I Live In", said the production got them working together for the first time since "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!" and is a sign of forgiveness from the director, who considered it "treason" that he went to Hollywood.
"He created me, and in a way I was his. He saw my leaving as treason. He's taken his time to forgive me," Banderas told France's Le Journal du Dimanche ahead of the movie's premiere Wednesday in French theaters.
Though in the past 20 years they have talked on the phone and have seen each other "regularly," their professional careers have been a series of missed connections and misunderstandings, Banderas said.
In 1991, when Almodovar offered him a part in "Kika," the actor accepted instead the leading role in the U.S. film "The Mambo Kings." And the Spanish director did not take the rejection at all well.
"He had some very hard words: 'Hollywood is going to crush you, you're wasting your talent. And I will have warned you,'" Banderas recalled him saying, while making it clear that "I've never had any bad feelings toward him" because "Almodovar is a genius who has revolutionized the movies," and said he loves the guy, always has and always will.
The two, according to the daily, continually thought of doing another production together, but something always got in the way.
In 1998, at the pre-premiere of "The Mask of Zorro," he told me, "You're becoming so expensive that we'll never work together again." The perfect excuse! But with time one gets a little more reasonable. And wanting to do good films is stronger than anything else," Banderas said.
With "The Skin I Live In", Almodovar offered him a part completely different from the kind he is used to.
And this time he accepted.
"It's about a psychopath, but Pedro made it clear to me very quickly that it's 'not about a monster. I don't want any Hollywood-style stuff, this time you'll have to be more subtle,'" Banderas said.