Antonio Banderas — thespian and cape enthusiast — is getting some of the best reviews of his career, all thanks to his subtle, moving, and shockingly ham-free work in Pain & Glory, a new drama that reunites him with legendary Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, who gave him his start back in the 1980s. And while he’s been giving incredible interviews as well, showing off a melancholic and philosophical side he rarely gets to exhibit, it was only a matter of time before someone — namely a GQ journalist — asked him about arguably his most famous work in the digital age: that gif of him leaning back at a computer in ecstasy, and pressing his fingers to his mouth as though he was about to give a chef’s kiss.
I interviewed Antonio Banderas! He talked about the new Almodóvar movie, death, Catholicism, and why Puss in Boots is so important to him. Yes I did ask about this GIF. https://t.co/JiZrHvGLsW pic.twitter.com/NAu5SLI2es
— Gabriella Paiella @GMPaiella October 1, 2019
It’s a stray bit from the otherwise forgotten 1995 thriller Assassins, in which he battled Sylvester Stallone and Julianne Moore. The internet has a funny habit of extracting random moments from movies, television, what-have-you, stripping them of context and making them ubiquitous; just ask the social media sharks who didn’t realize one of their favorite gifs was of Robert Redford, lifted from the classic 1972 outdoors drama Jeremiah Johnson.
In any case, Banderas — whose Twitter account is pretty formal, just sticking to movie releases and public appearances — knows he’s “internet famous,” on top of being regular famous. While speaking with GQ’s Gabriella Paiella, the subject of the Assassins gif was broached. He said he’s aware hundreds, thousands, maybe millions share it daily, and, no, he doesn’t seem to totally get it.
“I don’t totally understand this new generation and those memes things and those stuff,” Banderas said. “It’s fun, I guess.” But he played along, putting on his glasses to watch the gif with Paiella, even acting out the bit for her, which must have been mind-bending.
Assassins was one of six American films he made that year, back when he was first becoming a household name on this side of the Atlantic. The others, for the record, were Miami Rhapsody, Desperado, Never Talk to Strangers, Two Much, and a segment of the anthology film Four Rooms. Banderas spoke briefly about his experiences, saying it was also around the time he first got together with Melanie Griffith, whom he married the following year.
The revelation caused much using of the gif in question, including by Banderas himself.
Pain & Gain offers a side of Banderas few Americans have seen — one devoid of bombastic flourishes and breathy line readings and wide-eyed facial tics. It’s the kind of “adult” performance he’s never been given the chance to make, and it’ll probably shock those who mostly know him from his gif or from Puss in Boots, and perhaps aren’t even sure it’s Antonio Banderas.
onio Banderas is sticking up for Quentin Tarantino amid weeks of backlash the director has faced over his most recent film, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Speaking to The Independent while promoting his awards contender “Pain and Glory,” Banderas said the “Hollywood” director should be free to make whatever art he chooses and that moviegoers “should respect that freedom.”
“Tarantino should be free to make his art. I would never, never, never censor art,” Banderas said. “I think an artist should be free. Then people should be free to agree or disagree. You have the freedom to continue watching his movies or not.”
Banderas said moviegoers have the right not to see Tarantino movies because they disagree with his creative choices, but to argue said choices should not be allowed to happen in the first place is where things become problematic. “I think we should respect that freedom,” Banderas said. “There are sometimes things in art that, I have to tell you, they bother me…but I will never, never, never censor them.”
Banderas starred opposite Tarantino in Robert Rodriguez’s 1995 action Western “Desperado.” Since the release of “Hollywood,” Tarantino has received wide-ranging criticism for his portrayal of real-life figures and events. One of the biggest points of controversy has been Tarantino’s depiction of Bruce Lee, played in the film by Mike Moh. Bruce Lee's daughter, Shannon, condemned the filmmaker for portraying the martial arts legend as an “arrogant asshole who was full of hot air,” while Lee's protégé Dan Inosanto said the film’s portrayal was inaccurate. Inosanto pointed to a line in Tarantino's script where Bruce Lee makes a dig at Muhammad Ali and said Lee “would have never said anything derogatory about Muhammad Ali because he worshiped the ground Muhammad Ali walked on.”
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is now playing in theaters nationwide. “Pain and Glory,” from director Pedro Almodovar, opens October 4 from Sony.
Asier Etxeandia, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Penelope Cruz, Julieta Serrano, Raúl Arévalo and Asier Flores round out the cast of the Pedro Almodovar-directed Spanish drama.
Sony Pictures Classic released the first trailer for Pedro Almodovar's Pain and Glory on Thursday.
The Spanish-language film follows declining film director Salvador Mallo Antonio Banderas as he reflects on his life choices. He revisits encounters that happened in his past as his present life falls apart.
Asier Etxeandia, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Penelope Cruz, Julieta Serrano, Raúl Arévalo and Asier Flores round out the cast, with Almodovar directing and writing the script for the film.
The trailer opens with Salvador floating in a pool as he reflects on defining moments in his life, including a scene in which his elderly mother Serrano tells him he has not been a good son.
Salvador next visits a former co-worker Etxeandia that he has not seen in years. "It's taken me 32 years to reconcile myself with this film," he says as he points to a poster for the film they collaborated on.
While out to lunch, Salvador's friend asks him what he will do if he no longer makes films. "Live, I guess," he responds.
A clip from his childhood gives viewers a look at how he lived with his father Arévalo and mother Cruz. "You're a dreamer," his mother tells a young Salvador Flores.
The trailer continues with a montage of clips from Salvador's past and present life before the young version of his mother is shown singing to Salvador as she works outside.
"Safe journey," the older Salvador says directly to the camera at the conclusion of the trailer. "Thank you for coming. Really."
The film premiered at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival in May, where Banderas won the best actor award and Alberto Iglesias won the best soundtrack award.
It was announced on Tuesday that the drama will screen at the 2019 New York Film Festival, which will run from Sept. 27- Oct. 13.
Pain and Glory will be opening in theaters in New York and Los Angeles on Oct. 4. Watch the full trailer below.
The Spanish auteur’s finest film in years, Pedro Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glory” is also his most personal, a colorful vivisection of the director’s life and work, his regrets and achievements. No doubt playing a version of the Academy Award-winning director himself, Antonio Banderas stars as Salvador Mallo, a film director in creative crisis who begins experimenting with drugs in the lead-up to a local career retrospective of his work. Banderas won the 2019 Best Actor prize at the Cannes Film Festival for his portrayal, which is the Spanish actor’s most sensitive performance in many years. With the Cannes prize under his belt, Banderas has a strong shot at his first Oscar nomination ever, especially since this is one of Almodóvar’s more accessible efforts.
“Pain and Glory” features several breakouts in the cast, including Asier Etxeandia as Alberto, Salvador’s former onscreen muse who’s now a high-functioning heroin addict. Dreamy newcomer César Vicente plays the beguiling laborer Eduardo, who inspired Salvador’s sexual awakening as a child, as revealed in poignant, sexy flashbacks carefully stitched by Almodóvar’s editor Teresa Font. Penélope Cruz co-stars as the young Salvador’s mother. “Pain and Glory” features another achingly lovely score from Alberto Iglesias, who won Best Composer at Cannes, and pop-colored cinematography from Almodóvar’s trusted collaborator José Luis Alcaine.
Out October 4 from Sony Pictures Classics, “Pain and Glory” will play both the Toronto and New York film festivals. This is yet another winning collaboration between Almodóvar and Banderas, who has worked with the director as early as 1982’s “Labyrinth of Passion.” Some of their best films together include entries from Almodóvar’s kinkier punk days such as “Matador,” “Law of Desire,” “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,” and “Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!” but also later films such as “The Skin I Live In” and “I’m So Excited!”
With SPC backing the film, Spain will likely submit “Pain and Glory” for the 2020 Best Foreign-Language Film Academy Award. The country rarely neglects to submit Almodóvar’s films, including “Julieta” and “Volver” most recently. Almodóvar won the Oscar for his 1999 masterpiece “All About My Mother.” If that film was a tribute to the onscreen women who inspired him and the behind-the-scenes women who raised him, then “Pain and Glory” is Almodóvar finally looking closely at himself and examining a life and career that are nearly unprecedented in contemporary cinema.
Over a week ago, Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige unleashed a dump truck of Phase 4 information so massive that bits and pieces are still bubbling to the surface. Some of those chunks have to do with Budapest references in the Black Widow standalone prequel will we see Hawkeye, perhaps?, but others have to do with Feige’s promise that Phase 4 will put new spins on these comic-book adaptations that will be truly unexpected. And although Marvel Studios’ talent rarely drops major tidbits during interviews, it seems like Rachel Weisz was allowed to let loose to some degree.
In a video interview with IGN via Comic Book Weisz revealed that multiple characters in the movie will be referred to as Black Widow assassins. That includes her character, Melina Vostokoff, as well Florence Pugh’s character, Yelena Belova, and of course, Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff. As stated by Weisz:
“There are quite a number [of them. I’m a Black Widow and Scarlet and Florence [Pugh]. There are quite a lot of other characters that you meet who are also Black Widows. I call tell you that Melina has been cycled through the Black Widow Red Room program by the time the film starts. She started being cycled through when she was a child and so, she’s a highly accomplished spy and assassin. But I can’t tell you her relationship to anyone else.”
For what it’s worth and that worth is debatable, there’s also a fan theory out there that paints Weisz’s character as actually being the Taskmaster, who was confirmed as the movie’s villain in concept art featured at Comic-Con. Weisz as the Taskmaster seems unlikely, yet one never knows what tricks the MCU will have up its sleeve in its quest to be less predictable. No matter who the Taskmaster is, the character will be a formidable opponent, given that his or her photographic reflexes lead to mimicking maneuvers during physical conflicts. In other words, the Taskmaster won’t be easy to defeat.
Johansson seemed to hint at this inevitability while recently speaking with CNN about the prequel’s fight scenes, which are more intense than she’s experienced in previous Marvel movies. She did add that, “I’m older now … So everything hurts. It’s harder!” Scarlett’s only 34 years old, so it sounds like the battles must be brutal in this standalone movie. Hopefully a trailer will surface soonish, but probably not for awhile, since Black Widow which will also star Strangers Thing‘ David Harbour is scheduled for a May 1, 2020 release.