Cannes – Antonio Banderas said a heart attack he suffered two years ago spurred him into a health kick but also allowed him to reinvent himself as an actor, as he prepared to take on the lead role in Pedro Almodovar’s autobiographical new movie.
"It was fantastic advice for my life," Banderas said in an interview in Cannes.
"I don’t smoke anymore, I do more exercise than ever. I feel more clear in my brain and I kind of reinvented myself."
The 58-year-old Spaniard, known for films like The Mask of Zorro and Evita.
Banderas said his health scare had also helped him wipe the slate clean as he prepared to play protagonist Salvador, something Almodovar was very demanding about.
"He wants you new, fresh, different, getting rid of all these mannerisms," Banderas said.
The actor said he had not known at first that Almodovar, a close friend, would be digging deep into his personal life for the plotline of the new movie, which the director has described as part autobiography, part fiction.
"(Almodovar) called me on the phone and he said ‘I’m going to send you a script that you are going to find (has) a lot of references to people that you know’," Banderas said.
"So he sent it to me and I read it and I was (like) ‘oh my God, it’s him’."