Fragrance of fame wafts into Joburg
VENTURING into unknown territories and taking risks seems to be something international Spanish actor Antonio Banderas has a knack for.
His career took off exponentially in Hollywood when was aged 31 after he landed an acting role although he couldn’t speak a single word of English.
The 57-year-old says after the success of the movie, in spite of the language barrier, he was called back for another movie and then another, until he became a regular starring in more movies.
Banderas became famous as one of the few Spanish migrants to make it in Hollywood.
The star was speaking to the Sunday Independent at the launch of his fragrance in Sandton. “I got into the US at a very particular moment in history of that country, things were already changing.
“It was very weird time because I didn’t even speak English.
I did my first movie totally blind and had an interpreter to talk to the director and I couldn’t understand my fellow actors,” recalledbanderas.
At the time there was a big wave of South Americans moving to the US, working hard to send them to university.
“So those kids coming out, they were architects, doctors, etc. They have the skills and worked very hard.
“The result of that is those communities sacrificed a lot of their lives for their kids and that had to have a reflection in Hollywood. It was almost an obligation.
“I arrived at that particular moment. It was luck in that aspect,” he said.
Banderas says the outlook in Hollywood changed and it has become normal for Spanish-speaking actors to win Oscars.
The star, who acts, sings, dances and plays instruments, decided two decades ago to venture into the fashion world, introducing a perfume range to the market.
“To be honest, acting is my career. All of these things came about in the mid-1970s while doing theatre in Mali, with a group of friends. We all had to decide what we wanted to do with our lives,” Banderas said.
“I went to Hollywood and after some time when I returned home, they asked me why I don’t diversify,” he said.
Banderas has been involved with his perfume brand for 21 years and for him tapping into the African market was tapping into who he was.
Antonio Banderas at the launch of his fragrance in Sandton, Joburg.