Want a real life example of a Dashing Hispanic? Antonio Banderas (born José Antonio Domínguez Bandera on August 10, 1960 in Malaga, Spain) is your man. He began his acting career at age 19 with a series of films by director Pedro Almodóvar, and later became internationally well-known for playing Zorro in The Mask of Zorro and its sequel The Legend of Zorro, the first Spaniard to play the Spanish Californian hero.
He is notably less typecast in Spain, where he is considered a very versatile leading man thanks to that stint under Almodóvar. He's really beloved in his country for being the most internationally recognized Spaniard actor during the 90s, and helped to open the way to Hollywood for other of his countrymen like Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem (both of which are good friends with him).
And he sings. Beautifully. And plays guitar. And dances a mean tango.
The... how do you say? Ah yes—roles:
- Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988) as Carlos. His most interesting role under Almodóvar. In a role directly contrary to his Hollywood typecasting as a Dashing Hispanic or badass, he plays a milquetoast henpecked fiance who happens to be the son of the main character's ex-lover. It's weird.
- Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (Spanish: ¡Átame!) (1990) as Ricky. A Spanish dark romantic comedy film written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar. The plot follows a recently released psychiatric patient who kidnaps an actress in order to make her fall in love with him. He believes his destiny is to marry her and father her children. This is the role that brought Banderas to the attention of Hollywood.
- Philadelphia (1993) as Miguel Álvarez
- Interview with the Vampire (1994) as Armand. Portrayed in the film as an adult rather than a youth, so as not to give the impression that Louis likes 'em young.
- Desperado (1995) and Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003) as El Mariachi
- Assassins (1995) as Miguel Bain
- Evita (1996) as Che: Revolutionary, narrator, not-really-Expy of that Che.
- The Mask of Zorro (1998) as Alejandro Murietta, the legacy Zorro.
- The Legend of Zorro (2005)
- The 13th Warrior (1999) as Ahmad ibn Fadlan, Non-Action Guy turned Badass Bookworm off to defeat Grendel... Er, cannibal Neanderthals with Vikings.
- Spy Kids films (2001 2003; 2011) as Gregorio Cortez, father to the main kids and part of the Badass Family.
- Original Sin (2001) as Luis Vargas
- Femme Fatale (2002) as Nicolas Bardo
- Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002) as Jeremiah Ecks
- Shrek (2004 ) as Puss In Boots, adorable kitty and hired assassin who winds up traveling with Shrek and Donkey. An Affectionate Parody of Zorro.
- La piel que habito (2011), or "The Skin I Live In", also by Pedro Almodóvar, as a Mad Scientist (well, mad plastic surgeon) Dr. Robert Ledgard. You'd be amazed at how effectively he does it.
- Ruby Sparks (2012) as Mort
- Machete Kills (2013) as El Camaleón #4
- The Expendables 3 (2014) as Galgo, a Retired Badass Blood Knight mercenary, and a veeery obnoxious Motor Mouth.
- The Spongebob Movie Sponge Out Of Water (2015) as Burger-Beard the Pirate.
- The 33 (2015) as Mario Sepúlveda, leader of a group of miners trapped in a collapsed Chilean mine.
- Automata (2015) as Jaqc Vaucan, an insurance investigator dealing with robots that apparently Grew Beyond Their Programming.
- Acts of Vengeance (2017) as Frank Valera, a star lawyer turned Stoic vigilante.
- Genius as Pablo Picasso (2018). One of his life-long most desired roles, since he was born in the same city, Málaga.
- Pain and Glory (2019) as Salvador Mallo. Another collaboration with Almodóvar, for which Banderas was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role (his first Oscar nomination).
- Uncharted as Moncada (2022)
- Indiana Jones 5 as TBA (2023)
Tropes & Trivia in his career:
- Dashing Hispanic: His most famous roles are as suave Spanish/Latino men.
- Fake Nationality:
- He is a Spaniard who was born in Spain, but at the same time, he very often plays Latinos, which are some of his most recognizable roles. It helps that, being from Southern Spain, he is relatively tanned and can pass as mixed-race (that, and that a lot of people in Hollywood cannot tell the difference anyway).
- He also played once an Arab, although it is still fitting, considering Banderas hails from Andalusia, formerly known as the Iberian Islamic territory of Al-Ándalus.
- Irony as She Is Cast: Banderas has played characters of a variety of faiths, including a Catholic priest, a Muslim chronicler and a modern Stoic, but in real life, he is a self-declared agnostic (although he is part of a Spanish Holy Week brotherhood because he likes the tradition).
- Multiple Languages, Same Voice Actor: He used to dub himself in Spain during the The '90s. However, afterwards he passed the job to voice actor Salvador Aldeguer, and the latter became his official voice in Spain since. Banderas himself has stated he prefers it that way.
- Romance on the Set: He and Melanie Griffith, his costar on Two Much, got together and were married until 2015.