See: Antonio Banderas on the importance of fighting against typecasting
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish star Antonio Banderas says it’s “very important” for kids to see diverse heroes on screen, following warnings of being typecast when his career began in the US.
Known for his roles in The Mask of Zorro, Desperado and Spy Kids, Banderas says Puss in Boots could be the Spanish hero many generations missed.
“When I came to America in 1990, I made a movie called The Mambo Kings,” Banderas tells Yahoo as the Shrek spin-off hits UK theaters.
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“There were a lot of Spanish actors from Mexico, Puerto Rico, from different parts of the community. And they told me: ‘If you’re going to stay working in the United States, you’re going to play the bad guys’”.
“Normally, the blacks and the Spanish were always the bad guys, and then Fox and Puss in Boots came along.
“It’s very important that kids in America see them as heroes so they can start to break away from that stigma.”
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Known for his role in Desperado opposite Salma Hayek Pinault, the pair meet once more in Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. After being friends for 27 years, Antonio knew instantly that their chemistry would be perfect.
“There is not only a professional relationship, she is my friend. There’s a lot to play with and it’s fun because she’s very feisty and she loves to fight a lot.”
“I love that. We could incorporate that into the movie because she’s like a girl. She is always complaining in a good way. She is very critical ”.
First seen in the 2004 sequel Shrek 2, the Puss In Boots story has expanded into many movies and television series. For Banderas, it wasn’t a trip he was never sure was going to happen.
“I was very happy when they called me to do Shrek number two. If this was going to be a recurring pattern… maybe, maybe not. You never know.”
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“The first one seemed really original to me, this idea of taking all the fairy tale stories and looking at them from a completely different angle. When we went to the Cannes Film Festival (with Shrek 2), the response from critics was extraordinary.”
“But I never imagined that 20 years later I would be doing this.”
With Puss In Boots: The Last Wish becoming the latest installment in the land of far, far away, the fan base continues to grow, sometimes in unexpected ways.
“People are interviewing me and they are 27 and seven when I first did Puss,” says Banderas. “So they’ve also been growing with the character, being taken to see Puss in Boots by his parents when they were 8, 9, 10 years old.”
“These characters have made an impact on their entire generation.”
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is in theaters starting February 3. Watch a clip below.