Belfast Telegraph

Banderas talks Latino prejudice

Antonio Banderas wants Latino broadcasters to band together to “steal Hollywood from Hollywood”.

The 54-year-old was born in Malaga, Spain and his early career saw him star in a number of films in his mother tongue. He made the move to Hollywood with 1992 film The Mambo Kings but since then he has started to see a changing attitude towards Latino actors.

“There are still prejudices about the Latino world in the U.S.,” he said according to Variety.

Antonio went on to recall how on the set of The Mambo Kings he was told he’d only ever be able to play villains with his accent. But six years later he was cast as the hero in The Mask of Zorro while the baddie had blue eyes and a precise English accent.

“On 2011’s Puss in Boots, for the Americans it was very important that Puss spoke with an accent like mine and the villains spoke perfect English,” he added with a smile.

However Antonio thinks more could still be done to support his fellow Latinos. He thinks if big Latin broadcast networks in the U.S., Latin America and Spain banded together they could create a Hollywood-style Latino studio that could “steal Hollywood from Hollywood.”

“Broadcasters over all of Ibero-America would make an annual contribution and receive in return a quantity of content,” he explained. “I haven’t discussed this with anybody, [but] televisions need content. That’s quite clear. Together, broadcasters in the U.S. Spain, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Honduras… could make 20-25 high-level movies a year which have theatrical exhibition, then TV transmission.”

Antonio spoke ahead of the Platino Awards, where he is set to receive an Honorary Platino Award. While the star still enjoys his film work, he also intends to return to his first love, the stage.

“Theatre was my first grand passion. What made me dream, cinema came by accident. That passion’s still live,” he added. “I think all actors would agree: There’s something there when they say ‘action’ and end with ‘cut’ or when the curtain opens on a stage.”

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