Antonio Banderas says he was clueless about Madonna’s crush on him in the early ’90s
Before they costarred in the 1996 film Evita, Madonna had a major crush on Antonio Banderas — and he had no clue.
The actor, 59, spoke about the pop singer’s crush on him during an interview on Sirius XM’s The Jess Cagle Show on Friday while promoting his Pedro Almodovar film Pain and Glory.
“A lot of people in America actually became aware of you when Madonna did her Truth or Dare documentary where she spent a great deal of the movie obsessing over you and how you wouldn’t call her back,” Jess Cagle told Banderas.
The actor nodded and said, “I had no idea. She called me, and I was finishing the Mambo Kings here in Los Angeles and she called me. I thought someone was playing a joke on me because I picked up the phone and it was Madonna, I couldn’t believe it.”
“She said, ‘Listen, I want to show you this documentary that you’re in.’ I said, ‘What documentary? What’re you talking about?’” Banderas recalled.
The actor said the “Material Girl” singer offered him the chance to remove the scenes he was in if he was uncomfortable, but ultimately, he was fine with it.
The documentary was released in 1991 and chronicled Madonna’s controversial 1990 “Blonde Ambition” international tour, including behind-the-scenes footage of her tour and life.
In one scene, Madonna explains whom Banderas was to an American audience who wasn’t familiar with him at the time.
“Antonio Banderas is this Spanish actor that I’ve had a crush on for two years,” Madonna said in the documentary. “I’ve seen every movie that Antonio has ever done. I have to say he’s one of the few actors that I was dying to meet.”
When the singer traveled to Madrid to visit Almodovar, one of Banderas’ frequent collaborators, she became visibly excited at the prospect of meeting the actor at a party held in her honor.
“I spent the whole week psyching myself up for this party that I’m going to and I have it all worked out in my head: I’m going to make Antiono fall madly in love with me,” she said. “Although there’s this one major obstacle that I never really counted on: his wife.”
Banderas was married to Spanish actress Ana Leza at the time. The two divorced in 1996, and that same year he married actress Melanie Griffith after they starred in the comedy Two Much.
The actor and Madonna would eventually work together in the 1996 film Evita, in which Madonna portrayed the first lady of Argentina and Banderas played the revolutionary Che Guevara.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly‘s Couch Surfing in 2018, Banderas spoke about what it was like working with Madonna on the film.
“Madonna is probably one of the most committed artists I’ve ever worked with,” he said. “She was totally into this character, it was great working with her.”