Antonio Banderas has known director Pedro Almodovar for nearly 40 years, and in “Pain and Glory,” the actor played a version of his longtime collaborator. Banderas discussed what it was like inventing the character at the Variety Screening Series presented by Vudu.

“I will tell you things that Almodovar said to me, talking about pain. He said, ‘The character has got a lot of pain in his back, Antonio, but I don’t want to feel it. I want to see it, but I don’t want to feel it too much. He has migraines all the time and so you have to portray that, but I don’t want to see it too much.’ He said, ‘Finally, I want you to be me, but I don’t want to see it,'” Banderas explained.

The pic, which is a semi-autobiographical take on Almodovar’s life, follows Banderas, a director in his decline, and incorporates flashbacks to his earlier days. Banderas won best actor at the Cannes Film Festival for the role, and the movie is Spain’s entry for best international feature film at the Academy Awards.

“I had a certain freedom once we established a way of work and we were going in the same direction. He allowed me to invent him,” Banderas said.

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