Antonio Banderas: Cat Guy? Or is He Just Really into His Role?


Antonio Banderas has appeared in more than 60 movies in two languages, not to mention his work on stage and on television for which he’s won many awards. He’s a regular fixture on sexiest-man lists, and just seems to get sexier as he gets older. (Unfair, isn’t it, ladies?)

But when fans approach him, it isn’t the Spy Kids movies or the Zorro movies they want to talk about. It’s that darn cat Puss in Boots, the kitty character he voiced in the last three movies of the franchise.

“Women and men and children will say, ‘I love that cat; do the cat!'” Banderas says. “I get more questions about that cat than I do about Zorro.”

“Few people know it, but Puss has a back story,” the 49-year-old actor says during a phone interview with Cindy Pearlman of the
New York Times Syndicate from his Los Angeles home. “He grew up in the south of Spain, just like me. He’s also an adventure-loving cat, just like me. He loves women. He’s exactly like me.”

Is this the end of the line for Banderas’ Puss in Boots? Insiders have insisted that this is the final movie, but others guess that if the new movie does well at the box office, the franchise will continue.

Banderas hopes that it will.

“I could do these films forever,” he says. “I love how they put together the whole entire project, which is always a sweeping adventure to rival any live-action movie out there.

“I also marvel at how wonderful the script is each time. Everyone is very happy on a Shrek movie and very attached to the project.”

The key to the character, he says, is his eyes.

“I think the eyes are the most powerful weapon for a cat,” Banderas says. “It always seems as if cats are just observing and taking it all in while planning their next move.

“I like to make the voice sound as if Puss has just observed the whole situation and has taken it in before he comments.”

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