A family affair: Antonio Banderas enlists daughter for new Spanish musical

Spanish actor Antonio Banderas presents his musical
Spanish actor Antonio Banderas and the cast perform for the media to present his musical "Company" at Soho CaixaBank theatre in Malaga, Spain November 11, 2021. REUTERS/Jon Nazca

November 12, 2021

By Mariano Valladolid and Jon Nazca

MALAGA, Spain (Reuters) – When Spanish actor Antonio Banderas needs some honest feedback in his new gig as a theatrical impresario, he calls on his daughter Stella, who he hired as second assistant director on an upcoming production of the musical “Company.”

Banderas, star of “The Mask of Zorro” and dozens of other films, will direct and star in a Spanish language version of the 1970 Broadway show by Stephen Sondheim, which won six Tony Awards, in his hometown of Malaga, southern Spain.

“When we walk home after rehearsals is when she really does her work,” he told reporters on Thursday.

“When we’re at home maybe having dinner is when I ask her very direct questions and that’s when I get very direct answers about what she’s seeing,” he said, adding that he has always trusted her opinions.

The actor, 61, opened the Teatro del Soho theatre in Malaga two years ago to serve as a non profit centre for the production, training and promotion of performing arts.

After a successful first year, the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to halt the activity.

“Company”, which has never been performed in Spanish, will premiere on Nov 17, and has been adapted for a modern audience, with permission from author Stephen Sondheim.

“It does not have a traditional narrative, it moves with sketches and a central character who wanders, has tribulations, reflections on his life and the commitment he acquires in terms of friendship and direct commitments in the world of the couple,” said Banderas at an event to promote the show.

Banderas, who switched to acting from soccer after a youth injury, found fame as a dashing male lead in several of Pedro Almodovar’s films in the 80s, including “Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown.”

He found Hollywood stardom in the 90s, sharing the screen with Tom Hanks in “Philadelphia” and Brad Pitt in “Interview with a Vampire.”

More recently he starred in Almodovar’s autobiography “Pain and Glory”, which bagged him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in 2020.

(Additional reporting and writing by Emma Pinedo; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)