Mon. Feb 17th, 2020

“I see it impossible to win the Oscar”

Antonio Banderas
he achieved his first Goya in competition last Saturday (He has an honorary one) and now points to the Oscar although the Malaga does not have much hope of victory. His mind is busy with the beginning of the first musical tour he has produced with his project Soho CaixaBank Theater, an adaptation of To Chorus Line, a 1974 classic created by Micheal Bennet and that changed paradigms on Broadway. In Barcelona you can enjoy at the Tívoli Theater from February 21 and without him on stage and his goal is to take him to the Big Apple someday. And, he confesses, he is not far from achieving it.

What’s wrong with it To Chorus Line So you have chosen it as the first project for your Theater of Soho?

That talks about us and that, in some way, I saw a declaration of principles that contained the show itself about the world of entertainment, the sacrifice it entails and how hard or beautiful it can be. To open a theater it seemed perfect because, at the same time, it has that vocation of the public that I had to create. I could not invent a theater and leave it empty, for me it was very important to fill it. And there is another thing to keep in mind …

You will say…

To Chorus Line It is not a show that needs stars. I am probably the first known actor who has made this musical in its entire history.

Paradigm shift on Broadway

To Chorus Line it’s not a show that needs stars ”

But you have become a claim to attract the public …

It is true. But when the public enters through one door and then leaves through another, it does so with a different conception. See that it was not so necessary and that the ones that are really important are the 17 boys who are in the front row. They are what convince the public and they are incredible actors, singers and dancers.

Antonio Banderas will not be on stage playing the role of Zach, Pablo Puyol will do it. Because the?

Because he has the power that character needs: authoritarian, disciplined and in a bubble in which he sees no human beings but dancers. It is true that we have given a different nuance to the character and we make it a little more vulnerable. Pablo knows the show very well because he has been playing Al for all this time and it was perfect.

The actor, director and producer Antonio Banderas presents in Barcelona the musical 'A Chorus Line', which is outside the Teatro del Soho in Malaga and stars Pablo Puyol

The actor, director and producer Antonio Banderas presents in Barcelona the musical ‘A Chorus Line’, which is outside the Teatro del Soho in Malaga and stars Pablo Puyol
(Marta Perez / EFE)

Why do you think this show changed the Broadway paradigm?

Broadway has a tendency to reflect on himself and to copy himself, but he had always done so with the idea of ​​the stars. The movie A star is born is that, a Broadway show with a person who comes from nowhere and triumphs. It is also that Singing in the rain, 42nd Street … In 74, with the production of Michael Bennet, the star disappears and the focus is on those who maintain the industry but are not stars and, in addition, have a very limited life that nobody knows because it doesn’t appear anywhere. It helped change the perception of how those people who maintain that industry and are not known looked.

The musical develops as if it were a great casting. How did you manage the bittersweet taste of saying “no” to so many people?

It is so difficult to manage a “no” as a “yes.” The “yes” must then respond to the expectations you have created at the audition. Actually, all the boys that are part of A Chorus Line lived their own Chorus Line in the castings. 1,800 boys and girls participated in the auditions! They already came with that experience.

Is your dream that those guys can step on Broadway one day defending their production?

I will tell you that there is a very big and powerful possibility that they will take the musical to Broadway. It would be the first time that a show in Spanish settles in that jungle. And I’m thinking about the possibility of doing something very similar to what Michael Bennet did …

And it is…

Put all my boys in a circle, record them and tell me their stories. I know some and they are very powerful.

Flags poses for 'La Vanguardia' for the interview

Flags poses for ‘La Vanguardia’ for the interview
(Àlex Garcia)

What is the cruelest thing that happened to you at a casting?

Not having achieved the role. Being excited that you think you know the role better than the partners and that they don’t choose you, or even that they choose someone who didn’t even care about that role.

The march of Lluís Pascual as artistic director Does a bittersweet taste leave you before the tour of your first project starts?

No. When we spoke at the beginning, he told me that he was going to help me launch this, even though he had caught it at a special moment in his career. Actually, the help remains and the people he has brought to me, which for me are fundamental, and are the ones that have actually rounded up everything that has to do with the management aspects of a theater. He is totally open for him to come to direct some project, we have even talked about specific works, and he will do it because this is his house and there is no more drama.

The march of Catalan creator

Lluís Pasqual is my friend and he will continue to be ”

Have you not had any disagreements?

Not at all. He is my friend and he will continue to be.

We are going to something more luminous, have you removed any thorn stuck with the achievement of your first Goya?

It has helped that a little, yes. It is also true that this was the fifth nomination but I have worked little in Spanish cinema, so it was also difficult to be nominated if you do not appear in any film. The fact that your name sounds on a night like that is beautiful because it is your people and your profession.

Did you feel as if Spanish cinema were in your debt?

He had no debt to anyone, people have voted for what they believed at all times. What I can tell you is that I didn’t have them all with me even though people gave me a favorite. There were very good performances this year, such as Antonio de la Torre, Tosar, Karra …

The Malaga has his sights set on taking his musical to Broadway and in Spanish

The Malaga has his sights set on taking his musical to Broadway and in Spanish
(Àlex Garcia)

And with Pedro Almodóvar the Goya did they have something pending?

Neither. Pedro was a blessing from the moment I met him and that is what I tried to express the other day from the stage when he received the award. He is someone who has never betrayed himself, has always been loyal to his own personality, and that today is very important because it is scarce. Pedro has been someone constant in his own cinematography.

Three years ago he suffered a heart attack. Does one approach differently when managing a nomination of as much weight as the Oscar?

It has helped me to understand myself in a different way and to establish a different order of priorities than I had before, in addition to taking away a lot of anxieties. Anxiety is the worst enemy of any success in life. I have become more specific with the things I am doing at the moment I am doing them regardless of the results they can give me.

I will be direct, do you see winning the Oscar?

Impossible. The nomination already seemed like a science fiction thing. The other projects are campaigning, have studies with many millions of budget to support them. Last year the campaign he did Rome to win the Oscar cost 64 million euros.

Are you telling me that to win an Oscar you have to have a strong campaign behind?

Very powerful.

Three years of his heart attack

Anxiety is the worst enemy of any success in life. ”

Does the Joker appear in his worst nightmares?

(Laughs) I have talked to Batman and he has told me that everything is fixed (he jokes).

Not winning the Oscar will not tarnish the successful end of the year and beginning of this 2020 that is having

Sometimes the devil is loaded with success, so I’m alert. We have set a very high bar in Malaga, but I can’t really get carried away by that. True success will come after the first four or five years; It will be the perseverance at work that will really determine the success of the theater or not. I want to work less, I’m trying to impose that rule, and the theater is going to help me because I need to manage it and spend a lot of time in Malaga.

How would you now define success with that new vital conception that is being applied?

Success is being good with yourself and having satisfaction for the things you have done well.

Do you have any pending projects that help with that?

Everything that has to do with education and training linked to the Soho theater. I want almost in a vehement way to reach an agreement with a school in Malaga, which already helped us at the beginning, to carry out a second theater that is more laboratory and where new directors, actors, playwrights have room … Also explore the possibility of standardizing sound, light, artistic direction, set design, costumes, management and production classes. In short, having a theater center in Malaga of importance that keeps the city and the sector very alive.

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