A bearded Antonio Banderas bows into the room,
wearing jeans and a rather wrinkled white dress
AB: Excuse me I haven't been sleeping in
the last 56 hours. I just arrived from Argentina. I'm
shooting a movie there.
Press: Melanie said you have
a bet on whose summer kids' movie will do
AB: Yeah, she's going to do better. It's
very difficult to overcome 52 million first
Press: She says you've got to
mow the lawn then?
AB: Sure. I was gonna do it anyways
Press: What would she have
done for you ... if you won the bet?
AB: I don't know, I have a percentage of
the movie... so (laughs).
Press: Speaking of movies,
how about your new ones?
AB: "Ecks vs. Sever" were doing this in
Toronto with a young kid from Thailand called Kaos.
He put together this, action packed with big
explosions. I was just convinced by his talent I like
his personality, I like the way he was seeing the
movie. He seems interesting and I like him.
Press: How sexy is this movie
AB: It is. Not so much with me.
Press: And how about Brian De
AB: Brian De Palma ... I found a man who
was really tired of Hollywood, he moved to Paris just
to relax and recapture himself. And he said, 'I came
here just to rest and forget about anything, but
Paris have given me ideas and stories.' He has
unbelievable daring. I have never seen a director
asking me to do such outrageous things. ... I
actually had some problems with my character when I
read the script so I rewrote the character, I asked
permission, I transformed the whole thing. He read it
[and said], 'This is beautiful, I love it! But it's
not my movie (laughs) If you want to be in my movie,
you have to do exactly what I want.' ... I said,
'What the heck, I want to work with this man, even if
the character is not as much as I want to have.'
Press: Did Melanie give you
any tips on how to work with him?
AB: Be prepared not to work like you expect
a movie to be done. I like the man. He's so radical
and so charming and such a specific smile.
"Can I smoke a cigarette?" Antonio asks the press
modestly and proceeds to drop the ashes into his
empty Evian bottle until he's finished, at which time
he drops the rest of the "American Spirit" cigarette
into the bottle and places the top on it.
Press: How is Robert
different as a director?
AB: Robert is a very physical director, the
inventions with the kids, the falling and falling and
falling, I love that scene. Robert is more childish
in a certain way, even in movies like "Desperado."
"Desperado" for me is comedy. Finding the head of a
horse in your bed, that is violence. I think of
Robert Rodriguez as guacamole and blood, it's an
Press: You and Melanie have
lasted quite long as a couple ... do you have any
tips for the rest of us?
AB: In a relationship couple for a long
time you can't keep awake the passion of the first
year. That may disappear once in a while and you have
to call upon the things in everyday life, and the
little little details, and the way that you wake up
and the way that you talk to her and the way that you
relate, suddenly one day after 3 or 4 years together
you suddenly fall in love again with your own
AB: so it's just a matter of being
intelligent on the long-range thing. Trying to that
steady point at which you can function going up and
down in your relationship and keep it alive. I would
never say that I will hold this relationship forever,
but I will try and I don't have it in my mind to
Press: What do you love about
AB: Her vulnerability and at the same time
her incredible strength, and very strong personality,
I suppose that poets are made for that to describe
how you might feel for a person. I don't know, it's
just an amount of different things that make me look
at her when she's not looking at me and smile and
love her. I don't know what is the definition of
love, but she's generous, she's funny, she's a great
mother, she's a great lover, she's a good person.
Press: And how about your
AB: Things never happen like a boom. I
never had that "THAT MOVIE." I am on my 69th movie
right now. My whole entire career almost working like
a little ant. I consider myself a worker of acting, a
comedian. I don't consider myself a star.
Press: "Zorro 2" -- Are you
going to do it?
AB: Yeah. But I don't have the script yet.
But it's going to be the whole entire cast.
Press: How did you deal with
your first crush?
AB: Bad. (laughs all around) I remember
that I was asking for a kiss from this lady named
Liliana, she was a beauty. For days and days and
days, 'Give me a kiss' and then one day we were
sitting down and suddenly, and women always do this,
suddenly she says, 'Okay.' and I say, 'okay what?'
she says, 'Okay you can kiss me know.' I say, 'I am
not ready now! I have to have psychological
preparation!' and I remember that I kissed her on the
lips very slightly, a very innocent kiss, and I got
dizzy, I was completely in a cloud, it was so
Robert Rodriguez, a tall man with a childish smile
and a big cowboy hat, swaggers in.
Press: How is this film
RR: I wanted them to already have a lot of
gadgets, a lot of that was in the first movie and I
just had to take it out. Cause that was just the
genesis on how they became spy kids. About the first
one, it ended just when it should be beginning. Now
they're spies and the whole family's together and
they can go on missions, but the movie was over. So
I'd already written the sequel, and it'd already been
Press: There's a huge summer
crunch of family films, are you worried about
RR: Ah, the movie was so inexpensive.
"Stuart Little ll" is a 120 million-dollar movie;
they need to be worried. We're paid for already.
RR: Same as the first one, this one's 38
Press: That's all?
RR: That's why my name appears so many
Press: You probably could
have gotten more.
RR: Oh yea, Harvey said you got to spend 60
million the next one, I understood what he meant --
make a bigger movie. I said I can do that without
even changing the budget, it's really just creatively
needs to get bigger.
Press: Were you worried about
RR: It was good that she was a little
Press: What about "Once upon
a time in Mexico?"
RR: It's the third in the series really.
Antonio plays the good guy Johnny [Depp] is the bad,
William Dafoe is the ugly. I wanted to do something
that big. Lots of action. There's one really cool gun
battle that takes place in a church with silencers.
It's the biggest gun battle you never heard.
Press: How about shooting
RR: I hated shooting "Spy Kids" on film, I
hated how the release prints look, like vhs, compared
to what was on the negative, the set. When I heard
Lucas was doing Hi-Def, I said, 'I don't think it's
there yet, but let me go check it out.' And then I
couldn't believe what I saw. So I went back and shot
some tests side by side on "Spy Kids" and I wanted to
see where the HD fell apart where it looked like
video, instead I was shocked to see how bad the film
looked. I said, "Well that's it for film" (Laughs).
... In film you can't even see what you're doing.
When you're working in a visual medium, that's not a
luxury to see what you just shot (laughs)-- that's a
Press: What else are you
RR: Doing another "Spy Kids," which comes
out July 23, 2003. That's going to be a big one!
Press: Alexia's going to be a
RR: That's a gift. Otherwise I'd be doing
the same movie.
RR: He's really the same guy when I met
him. He wasn't a star yet -- he was very engaging,
very warm ... he could be a big star. I thought, I'm
going to put him in "Desperado."
RR: That was Bill's idea, I'd wrote in that
there was a Vomiter ride, Bill said, 'you know what,
I should open up a clear umbrella and we can let the
vomit hit it!'
Press: What about working
with the kids?
RR: They were really great kids.
Professional, well behaved, and so much fun. There
were no bratty kids. I mean, you always hire the kids
you know you'll get along with too.
Press: Did you get them
something cool as a gift at the end?
RR: Gosh, I don't think I did this time.
The first one we went to Disneyland for ten days, we
got Disney to get us a pass where we could get on the
rides without waiting in line. They were in
Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara bob in.
Press: Tell us about your
AV: this guy is so sweet and everything, he
wasn't cute, but then I got to know him, and then I'm
like this guy is kinda cute and charming...
Press: What happened?
AV: Stayed friends, nothing really
Press: Who do you think is
cute on film?
AV: Jaime Bell, is adorable, from "Billy
Elliot." And one of the Quidditch guys from "Harry
Potter," the guy that teaches Harry how to play ...
he is so cute!
Press: Did you guys audition
for "Harry Potter?"
AV: No, actually they started to audition
kids from here and then they went to London. And
that's what makes "Harry Potter" special. They're not
all these American kids.
Press: Who would you like to
have your first on screen kiss with? Britney Spears?
Jennifer Lopez, Kirsten Dunst?
DS: Yes! Kirsten Dunst.
Press: How about that music
AV: Robert made me sing to him over the
Press: what did you sing for
DS: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
AV: Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston's
version of "when you believe" from the "Prince of
DS: I've been taking ballet for 7 years.
And Robert gave me rock star lessons, like AC/DC with
knees up and the bobble head, it was just a lot of
fun... Angus Young. I just added the little ring,
because Antonio gave me this for Christmas and it
says inside, "Remember you are a Cortez."
Press: How do you like
working with each other?
DS: She doesn't have a brother and I don't
have a sister so it's kind of cool to have a loving
Matt O'Leary and Emily Osment take their
Press: How old are
MO and EO: 10 ad 15.
Press: What was it like doing
that pile of crap scene?
MO: The poop was coffee and something
Press: What was in your
MO: That was chocolate cookies. I don't
like chocolate, it was dark chocolate and it was
Press: What's Haley like as a
EO: He's just so great. We don't have all
the big arguments where we get all mad.
Press: Did you miss going to
the Oscars with him.
EO: I like it better when we're at home,
because we dress up in costumes like we're at the
Oscars and put balloons all over the living room.
Press: How much older is
EO: 4 years. He's just a great guitar
player. That's one of the things I admire about
Press: who was your first big
EO: Second grade, it was just, you know, I
used to hang out with the boys. I liked a lot of guys
just for friends. Yeah, there was this one guy that I
really liked, but he wasn't like a boyfriend or
Press: Did you ever tell
Press: How about your most
embarrassing dating experience?
MO: That's presuming I've had a date! First
of all, you can't go on a date because you don't have
a car, so your mom has drive you and that's
embarrassing. So there's no dating; there's basically
a bunch of friends going to the mall, like a
quadruple date. So you go see a movie and you come
out, but it's not a date.
Press: Why not a bike
MO: (facetiously suave) Look, I'll pick you
up at seven -- you can ride my pegs. (laughs all
Press: Who would like to have
your first on screen kiss with?
MO: Well if she wasn't so old, I would love
to ... oh, Kirsten Dunst.
MO: I'm 15!
Carla Gugino dons a classy and low cut black
Press: You look very nice and
smell pretty too.
CG: literally I don't know if it's me.
CG: It is but at this time in morning I
CG: She does a lot of beautiful stuff.
Press: We saw "SPY KIDS 2" on
CG: It's incredible on digital, it's almost
like a cartoon it's so vibrant. When I first saw it
on digital it took me a minute to adjust to how clear
it is ... when we were shooting too and you watch the
monitors, you almost feel like you can reach in and
actually touch the person. ... With digital, there's
something great because we got direction while the
camera was rolling. As an actor, I'm used to the
ritual of "we're cutting, we're starting, action,
rolling" there's something that I love about
Press: How about that face in
CG: I chose the pasta because I thought it
would be softer and not quite as sticky as the
fruit...but I ended up with a caking of a thin layer
of pasta on my whole face.
Press: How have kids been
reacting to you when they see you?
CG: There's a huge difference between
American kids and London. American kids are much more
vocal, and running up and hugging you and 'oh! Where
are Carmen and Juni?' And it's a great age because
they don't quite know you're not that person. In
England, these little tiny kids come up and (Proper
British accent), 'Excuse me, Miss Gugino, could I
possibly have your autograph?' It so interesting, I
found a great variety of responses from kids. It's
not about you being a well-known actor as much as
they just love this person you brought to life. It's
Press: And that closing
CG: It was actually going to be in the
sequence. I think Robert decided to put it in the end
because it's very funny. And that sequence goes so
fast that you gotta get out of there. And I think he
thought it would be a payoff at then end.
Press: Who's your favorite
CG: Why don't they make a movie out of
Press: Aren't they
CG: Really? And I also loved Isis.