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Creator / Antonio Banderas

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"I think movies serve many different purposes, from those movies that are frivolous and just an entertainment, to movies that just go to exploring the complexities of the human soul. Everything is valid if it's done with honesty and dignity, and I actually do both of those types of movies in my career."

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 acclaimed 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. Kids are more likely to remember him as Puss in Boots in Shrek (effectively Zorro as a cat) and Gregorio Cortez in Spy Kids.

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:

Tropes and Trivia in his career:

  • Dashing Hispanic: His most famous roles are as suave Spanish/Latino men.
  • Faux Fluency: His first few English-speaking roles were learned mostly phonetically. It took him a few years before he was comfortable speaking English. He even mentioned in an interview that when he first auditioned for an English role he basically pretended to understand the questions he was being asked.
    Banderas: I just sat there saying "yes". Like, he could have told me to jump out of a window and I still would've said that.
  • 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).
  • Large Ham: Always. No matter the role, you can always expect him to bring enliven proceedings and bring his usual energy.
  • Mr. Fanservice: He was one of the top sex symbols of the 90's.
  • 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. He also dubbed Puss in Boots in the Italian adaptation of Shrek (except in Shrek 2).
  • Production Posse: He's one of the go to actors for Pedro Almodóvar and Robert Rodriguez.
  • Romance on the Set: He and Melanie Griffith, his costar on Two Much, got together and were married until 2015.
  • Silver Fox: Getting older has not detracted from his good looks in the slightest.