Payday Loans
Antonio Banderas


  1. Miguel Bose, Tacones lejanos/High Heels, Spain, 1989.   For the first time in five films over the decade since his Labyrinth of Passion debut, Banderas refused a project of director Pedro Almodovar. Hollywood was calling with The Mambo Kings!  “I decided to dare another step, breathe new air, fly away and know other people. Pedro was disappointed.So was I. But we were very young.”
  2. Gary Oldman, Dracula, 1992.  “It was such a strange experience, like working with a god.” Antonio had three long meetings with director Francis Coppola - the first on Mother’s Day. “He said: You have to call your mother.”  He read and tested with Winona Ryder - and his then wife, Ana Leza. “He whispered very good, strange things like: Keep a secret from me. Invent something horrible… like, say, you killed your mother and hid her in a suitcase.”  On Mother's Day!
  3. Gabriel Byrne, Point Of No Return, 1992.     Málaga 0, Dublin 1… In the casting of the new “Uncle” Bob, the girl assassin’s minder in John Badham’s Hollywood re-hash (as cumbersome as its title) of réalisateur Luc Besson’s much sharper 1989 French hit, Nikita.
  4. Paul Mercurio, Exit To Eden, 1994.   Interviewing the vampire meant the “big fan of Anne Rice” had to miss Garry Marshall's send-up of her S&M number, taken over by the Australian find from Strictly Ballroom.  Or, as his young daughter called it, Strictly Boring.
  5. Javier Bardem, Perdita Durango, 1996.   “My first choice is Roberto Rodriguez directing Victoria Abril and Antonio Banderas,” said Spanish producer Vicente Gomez.   Dream on...
  6. Toni Canto, Spanish Fly, 1997.   Israeli Daphna Kastner'slame follow-up to French Exit, had her as an American writerresearching Spanish machismo. And the guy was called... Antonio.
  7. Russell Crowe, Gladiator, 1999.    He lost the titular Maximus - twice.  First, the role went to Crowe, Second, the Aussie wanted to copy the Banderas accent to underline the fact that Maximus was not Italian.  Director Ridley Scott chose Crowe, but not theSpanish accent.
  8. Patrick Swayze, Forever Lulu, 1999.   Alec Baldwin  pased on  the role and Swayze tried hard to  fit the bill. Too hard. The role was a happy husband discovering he’d had a child with an earlier lover. Banderas didn’t win. Somewhat surprising as he had, by then, been wed for three years to and had a daughter with  the lady playing the ex-Lulu.  Melanie Griffith.
  9. Gerard Butler, The Phantom of the Opera, 2003. Banderas, Michael Crawford (Broadway’s Phantom), Hugh Jackman, Heath Ledger, Meat Loaf, Matthew McConaughey, Kevin Spacey and John Travolta were on the titular list. So was Banderas, who was Che in another Lloyd Webber filmusical, Evita, having trained for years, vocally.  He sang the Opera role during a special tribute to composer Andrew Lloyd Webber at the Royal Albert Hall, 1998.
  10. Heath Ledger, The Order, 2003.     All set for the renegade Catholic priest - except that was in 1999. Fox then fought tooth, nail and searchlight over director Brian Heigeland’s budget, casting and title (originally The Sin Eater). Ledger took over with his usual younger-self double Leagh Cornwell.

  11. Viggo Mortensen, Alatriste, France-Spain-US, 2005.     Spain’s most expensive production at $28m would have been one salary cheaper some years earlier when Antonio had earlier been set to star - and direct. 
  12. Colin Firth, Mama Mia, 2007.    Three years earlier, the Spanish star was among the three (possible) fathers of Keira Knightley (before Sophia became Amanda Seyfried) in the hiot Abba musical. Abnd Nicole Kidman was due as her mother - an Aussie star for an Abba-mad country. Hey, hadn’t the plot (of a mum not knowing which of three lovers fathered her daughter) already been spun for Gina Lollobrigida in Buona Sera Mrs Campbell…in 1967!
  13. Vincent Cassel, Black Swan, 2009.  Banderas and Hugh Jackman were also candidates for the randy choreographer, Thomas Leroy, in the often erotic study of the bleeding art that ballet can be. Cassel compared Leroy to George Balanchine of the New York City Ballet, "a control freak, a true artist using sexuality to direct his dancers." Others saw Leroy as an updated version of Antyon Walbrook in The Red Shoes classic of 1947. (The film’s multi-award-winning star, Natalie Portman, later wed the movie’s French   choreographer Benjamin Millepied).


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