Practice English Speaking&Listening with: 'Pain and Glory' Star Antonio Banderas on His First Ever Oscar Nomination | In Studio

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- Hello, I am Antonio Banderas

and I am in a studio with Hollywood reporter.

(upbeat music)

- Congratulations on your first Oscar nomination.

- Thank you.

- Best lead actor for Pain and Glory.

Can we say that this is a celebration of an entire lifetime

of work with Pedro Almodovar?

- Yes, yes, you can say that.

- (laughs)

- It's a very easy and very nice way to put it and,

but yeah, I mean it's beautiful the nomination, itself.

But just in the way that I got here and the circumstances

that are surrounding these nomination are all beautiful.

You know what I mean?

It's almost a dream

- [Marya] Yes.

- with my best friend, cinematic friend

and, you know, our relationship of 40 years,

eight movies together, and we close this circle

with bunch of awards and recognitions.

And especially, knowing that the people connected

to audiences all around the world.

And the last thing is this,

a nomination for an Academy Award

for the movie and for myself.

- Yes, yeah.

And you know,

you've touched on it a little bit with the fact

that it's a Spanish speaking film,

but why else is it very important

that Pain and Glory is recognized

amongst all these other films this year?

- Because, you know, besides,

the values that the movie has,

the fact that as an actor,

that I have been working,

have been working here for almost 23 years.

And I never was nominated for a movie that I did in English,

but they do it for a movie that I do in Spanish,

is important because is a recognition also to my community.

And the fact that there were a number of people

coming here many years ago, generations ago,

in need, from countries that were in political problems,

on economical problems, social problems.

They came over here, they worked very hard.

Their kids went to universities, they came out

and they're architects, they're doctors or lawyers

or politicians or movie directors or actors.

So Hollywood had to have that reflection on that.

And so it's important for me,

it's important for the community that in a way,

even if I am from Spain I represent here,

that they speak the same language that I speak.

And then, I think there is something

also happening in the Academy that is very interesting

in the last two, three years.

And is that the Oscars, are getting

more and more international.

And it may happen that very soon,

the Oscars are not an American award.

It's a worldwide recognition.

But in order to do that,

you have to accept filmmakers from all around the world

to be part of this structure, to be part of this,

you know, kind of, you know.

- Going back to your relationship with Pedro Almodovar,

some have said that you're his muse.

- (chuckles)

- Do you agree with that, or?

- I'm a male muse.


- I always saw that his muse was Penelope Cruz.

- [Marya] Ah, yes, okay.

- But, yeah, I mean, (chuckles) I don't know if it's muse,

if I just produce inspiration for somebody.

- [Marya] That's kind of what it is.

- Yeah, but I try just to think in a different way.

I think, or I prefer to think that he created characters

and I can solve them.

- [Marya] Okay.

I can just provide the characters where he needed

when he was writing them.

And that's what I thought when I started working

with him in the 80s.

And then now, it has changed during the years.

The way that we established that relationship

with each other on the set, for many different reasons.

But he's no doubt, the person that understands me the best.

To a point that he's capable to obtain from me something

that I didn't even suspect I had.

And so, and only that happen when you

get into a state of abandonment.

When you don't, you're not trying just

to create the character with effort, but abandonment.

So was like surfing.

You don't try to compete with the wave, you just use it.

Right, well, you know,

and especially this movie has something like that.

Because in previous works that we did,

I confronted to him and it was more kind of a tension

on the set.

Creative tension,

I never fought with them a lot of really.

Because he's my friend and because I admire

and respect him very much.

But you know, I got my ideas of what the content should be

and then he got a different idea.

But in this particular case,

we step on the right foot from practically the beginning.

We understood very well

what was the procedure to make this movie.

- And the difference between this movie

and the movies you have made previously, is that,

it's such a highly personal film for him.

You're stepping into his hairstyle,

his clothes, a lot of personal, a lot of who he is.

Was that different for you?

I mean, it's interesting

that you are actually more harmonious that way.

- Everything that had to do

with the exterior aspect of the character,

including his apartment,

which is an exact replica to his real apartment.

All of that, yes.

But not the performance.

In the performance, I didn't wanna create a caricature.

I didn't wanna imitate him.

I said, listen, I have your hair whatever,

but I have to create the character

from another point of view.

I have to create it from the inside out.

Otherwise, we just may do a comedy

because people know your mannerism.

The way that you react to things,

the way that you move your hands and stuff like that.

So I didn't wanna go there.

I knew because he speaks, I mean, he writes as he speaks,

that sometimes that was going to come naturally.

Without me forcing it because the way,

is a way of speaking that is very specific in Spanish.

You know idioms, and the way they communicate things

that they knew that without making any kind of effort,

it was going to come out as Pedro Almodovar.

And then he's very smart actually.

How to create the illusion that I am him,

a reflection in a furniture for example.

I remember this red furniture that is in my bedroom

and he just wrote more for the reflection than for myself.

Actually performing the character.

And that creates the image of Almodovar suddenly.

It's almost like a trick.

Once you establish that,

you start believing that what you're doing is him.

Without having to do a big thing, imitation.

- Let's talk a little bit about your performance.

This is a character who is closing himself off to the world.

How do you create a performance when

there's so much that's withheld?

- Yeah.

Well, I knew that aspect of my friend

because I saw him isolated like that.

And if I didn't see him continuously, because at the time

that he suffered from one of these melodies and diseases

and stuff, I was here.

But every time that I talked to my friends,

they said, "No, he's not going anywhere.

"He just in the house."

You know he got these photophobia things,

and those bright lights

perturbed him very much and

migraines all the time, very strong, very profound.

And then the back problems and sure he's in this kind of,

(chuckles) join you, partially and I saw him sad, and,

but then my young experiences too,

how to tag that I suffered three years ago.

I think it helped me very much

to create this character in a way.

And I've been talking too much about this probably

you know, about my hurts.

But I don't, believe me, I don't feel a victim of anything.

If something came out of that (mumbles), something good.

A new way to understand life

and to understand even my life professionally

and how to attack character.

He gave me some tranquility and commit

that I didn't have before.

Better saw that and he says,

"I would love for you to use that

and don't hide it, don't hide that."

And I said, "I know what you're talking about."

So yeah, I know.

Did he say, no,

you have another perception actually what life's all about.

And so I knew that I could use it.

So I did.

So you know, all of these different aspects.

And then very technical things that he commented to me.

All of those things was way we were going

to work very minimalist.

He was going to put the camera very close to me.

- Yes.

What is that like to hear that you are going

to be in close up for so many of the shots?

- For almost 80% of movie.

Well, if, it means that you have to be careful,

in how you communicate.

You have to be almost sincere.

You have to just offer sincerity.

You cannot just say, "Oh, I'm in close up,

but I'm gonna do nothing."

No, it's not about that.

It's about being careful, measuring yourself pretty much.

And knowing that you can just actually create

very strong universes with very little.

It's that simple.

It was more complicated when he said to me,

We should just create this character in a way transparent.

So it's almost like a witness of himself.

And do you allow,

you should allow the people to have any space into you.

So we were trying not to drive them continuously

to what are the feelings of the character.

I mean we see where the narrative is, where the character is

what is happening to him.

You know, seeing me using drugs and doing this

and doing that and reacting to this and that.

But always leaving any space for the spectator

to feel that can be you.

That is more complicated.

- That is a little bit more complicated, but he's a master.

And so I follow, I follow pretty much here,

I try to listen to him continuously without trying

to confront him as I did in some of the times of our life.


And the result is very interesting.

The character got the capacity to get into

the heart of people and it's very interesting.

But people react to the character

even two or three days after.

It's a movie that has a comeback

after you see it, very strong like good wines.

Ooh, (chuckles).

- What was the most difficult scene for you to perform?

- The scenes that I thought that were going

to be very difficult became very easy because,

in a way, I abandoned myself without any pretension to it.

And then the emotions came out of nowhere.

I had no idea that I was going to have that result.

The scene with my ex-lover when I, he's talking to me

and telling me the story of his life now

and how he developed his life and stuff like that.

Because I, we've rehearsed,

but it never came in the rehearsals like that.

Never, never.

There was one take only.

And he came like that because I felt comfortable.

I didn't pretend anything.

I was not looking for anything,

I would just let myself go into listening.

Just listening what he's telling me

and remember when we were young that he was different?

And knowing that there is only this high space

in the life of any person

that is only a space for the truth.

And he's telling me the truth and he's beautiful.

The scene with my mother, the same thing.

My mother came, tried to directory.

He couldn't direct us because he was very emotional.

So I saw him and I said, "Well, all I have to do

is just to, to feel with you my friend."

So I was feeling with him

and he said action and it was there.

- I have one last question for you.

- Sure.

- Your daughter was attending the Oscars with you this year.

- Everybody knows that, it's been going around.

- You've been on some dog shows.

What does she think of your performance?

- She loved it, actually.

When she saw the movie, she called me and she said,

"Oh, papi I loved the movie,

and I love your performance."

And she, she's critical.

My daughter is not like, "papi daddy".

No, no.

I try and I think I succeed with that

to educate her and the people that surround her.

The mother and some of the people that were around,

trying to make of her an independent free thinker.

- And woman.

For me that was very important in the times

that we're living.

And she's, she has that

- So, you got a seal of approval.

- Yeah.

(laughter) - Antonio, thank you so much.

And we'll see you at the Oscars.

- Alright.

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