MARBELLA, Spain — Antonio Banderas put out a call Friday for the big Latino broadcast networks in the U.S. plus broadcasters in Latin America and Spain to band together and create a Hollywood-style Latino studio that could “steal Hollywood from Hollywood.”
“Broadcasters over all of Ibero-America [Latin America, Spain and Portugal] would make an annual contribution and receive in return a quantity of content,” said Banderas, talking to journalists a day before Saturday’s second Platino Awards, where he will receive an Honorary Platino Award.
“I haven’t discussed this with anybody, “ said of his Latino studio game-plan. But “Televisions need content. That’s quite clear. Together, broadcasters in the U.S. Spain, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Honduras… could make 20-25 high-level movies a year which have theatrical exhibition, then TV transmission.”
In total speakers, “We have a market which is bigger than the U.S.,” Banderas said. “We just have to reach an agreement.” Banderas comments came, indeed, as it has been broadcaster support, both finance and muscular marketing campaigns, which have proved one industry game-changer for local movie industries in Spain, Argentina and Mexico.
The Spanish hyphenate also reflected, with Edward James Olmos, on just how far the Latino community had evolved since he starred in 1992’s “The Kings of Mambo,” being interviewed for the gig by director Arne Glimcher when he knew hardly a word of English: “He could have said: ‘Should I jump out of the window?’ and I would have said: ‘Yes, yes,’” Banderas joked.
“There are still prejudices about the Latino world in the U.S.,” but things have changed, Banderas said.
On the set of “The Mambo Kings,” he was told that if he stayed in the U.S. he would play only villains. Six years later, he was playing the hero in “The Mask of Zorro” and the villain had blue eyes, spoke perfect English and was called Captain Harrison Dove.”
On 2011’s “Puss in Boots,” for the Americans it was very important that Puss spoke with an accent like mine and the villains spoke perfect English,” he added.
Not only actors have changed, however, Banderas argued. “Always Hispanics have been expected to talk just about Hispanic affairs.” In Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity,” however, there wasn’t one Hispanic, Banderas pointed out. “We must break out of a world of them and us, not ‘self-ghettoize’ ourselves.”
“Attitudes towards Latinos is changing little by little and thanks to people like Antonio Banderas,” said Olmos.
Going forward, Banderas said he will continue to act. But he was more attracted to production and directing. Among his projects – as an actor — are American movies with Latino elements, he said. Banderas will travel shortly to Chile for the premiere of Patricia Riggen’s “The 33,” about 2010’s dramatic Copiapo Chilean miners’ rescue.
Above all, Banderas said, he’s not heading into an early retirement sunset. “Theater was my first grand passion. What made me dream, cinema came by accident. That passion’s still live. I think all actors would agree: There’s something there when they say ‘action’ and end with ‘cut’ or when the curtain opens on a stage.”