Banderas Ready to Return to Spain to Help the Local Film Industry

Antonio Banderas is ready to return to his acting roots…

The 54-year-old Spanish actor says he’s ready to come back to Spain and help the local film industry while allowing himself a greater range of acting roles than those he gets offered in Hollywood.

Antonio Banderas

“I’m looking to come home and make movies here,” Banderas told a news conference in San Sebastian International Film Festival following the screening of Gabe Ibanez’s Banderas-starring sci-fi film Automata, which the actor produced and screened as part of 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,” said Banderas.

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.