San Sebastian: Antonio Banderas Wants to Work More in Spain

Antonio Banderas San Sebastian - H 2014
Courtesy of San Sebastian Festival/Gari Garaialde

The Spanish actor is in San Sebastian to promote 'Automata'

Antonio Banderas said he is ready to come back to Spain and help the local film industry and allow himself a greater range of acting roles from what he gets offered in Hollywood.

“I’m looking to come home and make movies here,” Banderas told a packed news conference in San Sebastian following the screening of Gabe Ibanez’s Banderas-starring sci-fi film Automata, which the actor produced and is screening in the festival's Official Selection.

“Hollywood has ceased to exist as such, and now it is just a brand. I might have that brand on me my whole life, but I want to do more films from my own country. I recognize the talent here and I really believe in my people,” the Malaga-born actor said.

Sporting a dramatically different look from the shaved head he wore in Automata, the bearded Banderas said his career is limited by typecasting in Hollywood.

“It’s true that in Hollywood, I’ve always had certain limitations because of my accent or ethnicity. I go straight into certain roles. I’ve been working in Hollywood for 23 years with a certain handicap,” he said.

In Spain, where locals tend to be hard on talents that make it abroad, Banderas is a much-loved exception. It’s hard to find anyone in the industry or in theaters who doesn’t speak well of the predecessor to Penelope Cruz or Javier Bardem.

Banderas said he drew on personal relationships to produce Ibanez’s second feature, including with his wife Melanie Griffith, who has since filed for divorce and who has a part in the robotic apocalyptic tale.

Banderas said that coming to Spain allowed him to open his range of genres.

“I think that with this film I complete the full rainbow of genres, but that’s not the reason I chose to do the film,” Banderas explained. “I am looking to work more in Spain now.”

Millenium Entertainment will release the $5 million production in selected theaters on Oct. 10.

“I’m sure this film has its audience, an audience that is missing films with more content. This is not a sci-fi film that if you waste five minutes, you waste $5 million. We are playing a different game. Science fiction can allow for details that are important and have to do with the life we are living right now, like the loss of values,” he added.