Antonio Banderas Interview: ‘Genius: Picasso’
“I try to always not establish a morality or judgement over them and try to play them as human beings. We all are human beings who travel through life with a backpack filled with greatness and miseries. Picasso was no different even with this genius side of his persona,” reveals Antonio Banderas about playing the good and bad sides of iconic painter Pablo Picasso. He stars in the NatGeo limited series “Genius: Picasso” and discusses the project in our exclusive webchat (watch the exclusive video above). He adds, “In his private life he had a lot of controversial situations, not only just with women which is very known, but his friends and the relationship with the world in general.”
For the NatGeo program, Banderas plays the older Spanish legend while Alex Rich portrays the famous painter as a younger man. Others in these episodes include T.R. Knight, Clemence Posey, Poppy Delevingne, Robert Sheehan, Aisling Franciosi and Sebastian Roche.
Both Banderas and Picasso were born in the small town of Malaga, Spain. Both men are held in high regard among citizens, so was there any pressure on Banderas in his portrayal among friends, family and locals? He says, “They have accepted the interpretation of the life of Picasso. They were also at the same time very thankful that the production decided to go there and shoot… They see the quality of it and totally approve it, which is very relieving to me because it would have been horrendous if they didn’t and I have to live there for the rest of my life.”
Banderas now contends as Best Movie/Limited Series Actor on the 2018 Emmy Awards ballot. He already competed in the same category in 2004 for “And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself.” That role also brought him a Golden Globe nomination, his third following the films “Evita” (1997) and “The Mask of Zorro” (1999).
In our chat we discuss his awards history, including his first star-studded party at the Golden Globes and how he approaches voting on the Academy Awards each year. He names Robert De Niro in “Raging Bull” as one of his all-time favorite film performances. His career has included Broadway and a Tony Award nomination in 2003 for the musical “Nine.”