Antonio & Melanie

Antonio & Melanie kiss
It was only five years ago that Antonio Banderas -then known only to most moviegoers for his Spanish films with Almodóvar- sat down with director Arne Glimcher to talk about appearing in his first English-language role in The Mambo Kings. "I didn't understand a word he was saying," Banderas explains. However, after learning his lines phonetically, Banderas got the part. He wasn't the main attraction in the first movies he made in America. But this was the price he was willing to pay to try to become the first leading man from Spain to succeed in Hollywood.
Banderas is finding out the cost of being a star: newspapers around the world have been talking about his romance with Melanie Griffiths, begun while filming Two Much in Miami. In Spain recently, lots of journalists followed them everywhere. He's hurt by the attacks on Melanie's past problems with alcohol abuse, and by the Spanish press's accusation that he left his wife for a celebrity to gain status in Hollywood. Banderas has no complaints about the course his career has taken in Hollywood. "I'm living the adventure of my life. Now, it's here, tomorrow I don't know," he says.

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