‘Genius’: Antonio Banderas Shaved Off His Eyebrows And Hair To Finally Play His Idol Pablo Picasso

April 24, 2018 09:01

Spanish actor Antonio Banderas last year suffered from a heart attack, but he still thinks that the best of his career is yet to come.


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During the Malaga Spanish Film Festival, where the actor was receiving the lifetime career award, Banderas revealed about the terrifying even in his life. He said:

I had a heart attack on Jan. 28, but I was very lucky, it was benign and caused no damage. I underwent an operation where they implanted three stents in my coronary arteries, and since I had suffered from arrhythmia for quite some time, I underwent thermoablation, but it wasn't as dramatic as they say.

The Spanish star blames what happened on his dedication to work and that his heart had been given "a real beating" over the last 37 years of his life. But now, he feels much better and wants to come back to acting and directing.


Banderas didn’t wait long to recover as one of the most important roles in his career was waiting for him. The actor finally portrayed his idol - Pablo Picasso.


It’s not been more than 3 weeks since he finished shooting Genius, National Geographic's anthology series that chronicles both Picasso's art and his tumultuous love life as well as the way they tie together.

© Genius (2017-) / Fox 21 Television Studios

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Banderas had to shave off his eyebrows and hair and spend two to five hours in the makeup chair every day to portray the artist, but he was happy to do anything in order to take on the role of one of his childhood heroes. The actor said:

They offered me this character in my 20s and in my 30s but I always said, 'No, I don't want to play him yet. I admire him too much. He was my idol since I was a little kid.

The 57-year-old actor grew up in the Spanish city of Malaga, which was also Picasso’s hometown. He convinced the show creators to actually shoot the series in Malaga.


Ron Howard, the show’s producer, admitted that when he met Antonio Banderas he realized that the Spanish actor was his one and only choice for the role.


In July, Banderas will start shooting in the new Pedro Almodóvar’s film, Dolor Y Gloria.

On set he will reunite with the director’s longtime muse Penélope Cruz.

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