Pedro Almodóvar and Antonio Banderas on Milestones, Health Scares and Oscar Buzz at ‘Pain and Glory’ NYFF Premiere

Pedro Almodóvar turned 70 this week, celebrating the milestone at the New York Film Festival premiere of his latest film “Pain and Glory.”

“I feel at home here. I was born at film festivals. It is a part of me,” the auteur told Variety before the screening of his most personal project to date.

The director presented his 12th NYFF selection in four decades as he opened up about the occasion and the gift of working with his film’s star, Antonio Banderas, saying “We love each other in the best sense.”

The bond that the filmmaker and actor (the pair have collaborated eight times) share is stronger than ever, especially after Banderas suffered a heart attack in 2017. The actor explained that the health scare was a turning point and a “blessing” in both of their lives.

Talking about the opportunity to work again after his time in the hospital he added, “When Pedro called me, he knew that there was a change in me. He said he would love for me to use it for the character; don’t hide it. And I knew exactly what he was talking about. He opened for me the door to see me on the screen in a completely different way. In a metaphorical way, I got the opportunity with this movie to kill Antonio Banderas, the Antonio Banderas that everybody knows.”

Coming off the win for best actor at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, award season buzz for “Pain and Glory” keeps growing. The film is now Spain’s official submission for the international feature film Academy Award.

Telling Variety about the additional present of the country’s recognition of the film, Almodóvar said, “I am very anxious because now I feel that I represent Spain and I’m not just representing myself and my career. I represent my whole country. It’s a big responsibility. I will do everything that is in my heart to be among the nominees. But you never know. You know how this works. This is a mystery since the last movie, but I will work to get it.”

More Film

  • Andy SambergVariety Sundance Studio presented by

    Andy Samberg Calls Hosting the Oscars a 'Bad Gig' -- That He'd Still Consider

    Andy Samberg has been a reliable favorite hosting awards ceremonies, in recent years emceeing the Independent Spirit Awards, the Emmys and the 2019 Golden Globes with Sandra Oh. So it’s only natural to wonder if Samberg would consider taking the reins on the Oscars, which will return again this year without a host. “They have [...]

  • Shirley

    'Shirley': Film Review

    Shirley Jackson was a real person, a writer best known for her twisted short story “The Lottery,” although the version presented in Josephine Decker’s “Shirley” feels more like a character from one of her own novels. Featuring “The Handsmaid’s Tale” actor Elisabeth Moss in the title role, this queer, hard-to-quantify psychological study isn’t a biopic [...]

  • Us Kids

    'Us Kids': Film Review

    The nonstop drama of the Trump White House has succeeded, among other things, in largely pushing gun control from the forefront of the news cycle — no doubt to the relief of the NRA and its allies, despite the continued frequency of U.S. mass shootings. As a result, and perhaps unfairly, Kim A. Snyder’s “Us [...]

  • Logan Paul Ninja Spree

    How Logan Paul and Ninja Helped 'Spree' Cast Capture Influencer Culture Gone Wild

    When it came to depicting the gonzo nature of influencer culture, “Spree” stars Joe Keery and Sasheer Zamata and director Eugene Kotlyarenko did a deep dive into the haves and have-nots of the internet. “Spree,” which premiered Friday at Sundance Film Festival, follows a rideshare driver named Kurt Kunkle (Keery) who will stop at nothing [...]

  • The Go Go's at Chicagofest in

    'The Go-Go's': Film Review

    In the terrific documentary “The Go-Go’s,” there’s a tasty clip of the band playing an early club gig in 1979, when they were part of the L.A. punk scene. They wear bushy black hair and pale white makeup (with rouge!), as if they were trying to be mannequin versions of Darby Crash, and they have [...]

  • A PERFECTLY NORMAL FAMILY

    Watch the Exclusive Trailer of Rotterdam/Goteborg Entry ‘A Perfectly Normal Family’

    Variety has been given exclusive access to the international trailer of the Danish film “A Perfectly Normal Family,” due to compete both at Rotterdam’s Big Screen Competition, and at Göteborg’s Nordic Film Competition. Malou Reyman’s debut feature has been a hot property for sales agent New Europe Film Sales, ever since it was sneak peeked [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content