Banderas, Hayek form another purrfect match
BY GENE TRIPLETT
GRAPEVINE, Texas — You can light up a cigarette in a smoke-free hotel when you’re as big as Antonio Banderas.
Who can say no to the voice of Puss in Boots, the feline fighter, lover and outlaw, or the man behind “The Mask of Zorro,” or the guitar-strumming, gunslinging El Mariachi, eh?
It’s been a grueling morning of interviews after all, a smoke break has been earned, and Banderas is polite enough to ask permission of a hotel management rep — which is immediately granted — as he and co-star Salma Hayek settle down in a meeting room of the posh Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center for an exclusive interview with The Oklahoman.
Hayek asks the reporter, “Do you mind if he smokes?” But older reporters are used to smoke-filled rooms.
“My wife just made a movie in Oklahoma,” Banderas says, referring to spouse Melanie Griffith. “A movie called ‘Yellow’ with (director) Nick Cassavetes.”
That film is due out sometime in 2012, but the movie Banderas and Hayek have come to Texas to promote today is “Puss in Boots,” the animated comedy-adventure from DreamWorks that centers on a funny, furry, sword-wielding character who first took his bow in the long running “Shrek” series.
The dark-haired, dark-eyed, Mexican-born actress supplies the voice of Kitty Softpaws, the female foil in “Puss in Boots,” marking the fifth time she and Spanish native Banderas have played opposite one another, beginning with Robert Rodriguez’s “Desperado” (1995) and its sequel “One Upon a Time in Mexico” (2003). They also appeared together in Julie Taymor’s “Frida” (2002) and Rodriguez’s “Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over” (2003).
Banderas attributes their shared film work to friendship and chemistry.
“Whatever it is that we have, we try not to intellectualize it,” he says. “It may not work anymore, so we just let it go.”
“It’s true,” agrees Hayek, who is married to French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault. “And honestly it’s not that big of a thought-out thing. We did a thing with Robert Rodriguez, ‘Desperado,’ that had a sequel, which is ‘Once Upon a Time in Mexico.’ Obviously we became friends from the beginning. Then I did a movie called ‘Frida,’ and as a friend I needed him to help me. And as a favor he was in the movie. Then, because we were also friends with Robert Rodriguez, he asked me to do a cameo in one of the ‘Spy Kids’ movies.”
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