Antonio Banderas says his heart attack was a factor affecting Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” (Photo: DreamWorks/Universal)

in 2017 role call In an interview with Yahoo Entertainment, Salma Hayek said that the 2011 animated film is a success Puss in Boots — in which she voiced the titular feisty hero rival/love interest Kitty Softpaws — was the first time Hollywood had ever hired her Mexican accent, and they didn’t shrug it off for it.

Needless to say, Hayek, 56, was keen to reprise the role of Kitty in the game’s inevitable sequel. a partner A spin-off that grossed over $550 million. But then she waited…and waited…and waited. “Antonio and I have been hoping for this to happen for over a decade,” she told us in a recent interview, referring, of course, to Antonio Banderas, whose adoring cat with impossible eyes first stole the show in 2004. second partner. “Because they told us the first movie was a huge hit.”

There were a couple false starts, so much so that Hayek said it felt like The boy who cried wolf cry Any time they hear that the sequel is moving again.

So what took so long Puss in Boots: Last Wish To finally hit theaters this week? Follow up to How to train your dragon – another DreamWorks animated series, for example – came out four years later, with a third installment five years later.

Banderas says there were a variety of reasons for the long pregnancy. DreamWorks changed hands, from Paramount to Universal, in 2016. There were director changes (Guillermo del Toro was among those temporarily on board) before Joel Crawford finally got involved. There was a pandemic in 2020, you may have heard.

“I suppose this is actually also about the fear I experienced in 2017, in which I almost lost my life,” Banderas told us in a recent interview. In January of that year, the 62-year-old Spanish-born actor suffered a heart attack. Seemingly healthy at the time, he was taken to hospital and later underwent surgery to have three stents implanted in his coronary arteries. (He has since called the health scare “one of the best things that ever happened in my life” to change his perspective on what’s most important to him.)

Fitting then, and perhaps not coincidentally, last wish It centers around the death of its protagonist. When Puss is killed in action in the early events (you might want to warn the kids), he is told in the afterlife that he has none of his nine lives left. This ultimately sends Puss on an adventure, joined by Kitty and scene-stealing newcomer Perito (Harvey Guillén), to find Last Wishes in the hopes that Puss can regain his lost life.

“It’s very daring, in fact, to reflect on a movie that’s just for young people [on] These issues openly, in a very elegant way, and very carefully as well,” says Banderas. “I think it’s a beautiful proposal because it’s so beautifully done. I was surprised we were going there. But if there is [any] The character who can do that, it’s Puss in Boots.”

The 11-year lag between films “was worth waiting for the right situation,” Hayek says, referring to Crawford. “400 proper people got involved, because that’s what it takes to make one of these movies.”

“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” (Photo: DreamWorks/Universal)

One such “appropriate” person is Guillén (What do we do in the shadows?), who is Perito’s hyperactive therapy dog last wish What was it Puss second partner. The scene chewed like a bone.

Not that the actor would ever acknowledge his star role.

“I didn’t steal anything,” he laughs. “I just wanted to be as original as I can be with Perito, [that was never] My idea of ​​treatment. So nice to hear that, thanks for the compliment, but it’s just a nice addition to this world, I guess. And his energy is something I think everyone can crave, especially with the last few years we’ve had and the world we live in.”

As a newcomer to the series, Crawford (Croods: A New AgeI love seeing (hearing) Banderas and Hayek continue to put their signature twists on the characters.

“They bring a lot to it, not only their personal knowledge, but also the cultural,” he says.

Hayek replies, “It is important that we include our culture, who we are, and our language.”

American actor Harvey Gillen (left), Mexican-American actress Salma Hayek (center) and Spanish actor Antonio Banderas arrive at a movie premiere.

Harvey Gillen, Salma Hayek and Antonio Banderas arrive for the premiere of “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” in New York City on December 13, 2022 (Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images)

It goes back to what Hayek told us in 2017, an experience Banderas says he also shared.

“I arrived in the United States at the beginning of the ’90s, I was 31 when I got there, 32 when I made my first American film, and I didn’t speak the language,” he explains. “So the fact that they called me after 10 years, just to use my voice, was unprecedented. It was inexplicable to me. But in a way, so is he.” [meant] Acceptance of the Hispanic community in Hollywood.

This was a movie aimed at young people. And the fact that the protagonist has an accent, and the fact that some of the bad guys don’t, opens the door for diversity and change. [minds] These guys think differently. To believe that anything is possible and we do not respond to it [stereotypes]. You know, there are good people in every society and bad people in every society, and that’s just the way life works. We are not good or bad because of the color of our skin or the accent we have. And that was an important message for the Spanish community. This character is loved all over the world, in many different countries. By the Hispanic community, it is idolised.”

Puss in Boots: Last Wish playing now.

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