EXCLUSIVE: Salma Hayek on Antonio Banderas: "They Don't Make Them Like That Anymore"

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We caught up with Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek in Miami over the weekend before their big premiere of the highly anticipated Dreamworks spin-off Puss in Boots. The two actors have collaborated at least six times since they both left a huge mark on Hollywood in Robert Rodriguez's Desperado (1995), their first film together. Obviously, they share a real on-screen chemistry that keeps audiences coming back to the theater, but they are also friends off-screen and were incredibly excited to be reunited to film the new animated feature. Banderas, reprising his roll as the super-popular Shrek sidekick Puss in Boots admitted, "I never thought, if you would have asked me all those years ago, that Hollywood would ever be calling me—an actor who didn't speak very good English back then—just to use my voice."

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Salma added with a laugh, "Or that we would be playing cats!" Hayek joins the cast as Miss Kitty Softpaws, a super-thief with the softest hands in the game who eventually becomes Puss's love interest.

So, what is about Antonio that Salma loves so much? "For me the most genius and brilliant actors are the ones who can do it all, comedy, action, drama, satire. He can not only just do comedy and drama, but he can different styles of comedy and drama. He can do theater—this one can sing, this one can dance! They don't make them like that anymore, it's almost like the old days, when actors prepared themselves so well and were really well read and were really well educated," Salma gushed about Antonio.

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And it's true. Just this past Sunday, Antonio paid a visit to Mira Quien Baila to show off some of his sexiest moves and if the incredibly cute and funny dance scenes in Puss in Boots count for anything, so can his feline alter-ego.

"Many times you do not work together in the same room on animated films, but we spent a lot of time together. We wanted it that way," Antonio says of their request to share physical space while recording their voices in order to play off of each other and make their reactions more realistic. "To work together again with Salma was a beautiful experience."

The strategy of being in the same room together definitely worked. It seems that not all of the best zingers were originally written into the script. "A lot of the stuff we improvised." Salma dished. It's easy to believe! Puss in Boots is hysterical—not only for the children we are sure will be flocking to the theaters, but also for their parents—and his relationship with Softpaws is the heart of the film. Hopefully, we'll be able to watch their love unfold over a new series based around the Puss in Boots character (that is, if we get our way).

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About this author

Mariela Rosario,

I'm a raging opinionista and I love to share my ramblings on everything from pop culture to food to stuff that makes me laugh & cry! I've worked in all types of media (TV, film, print) and was previously the online editor at Latina magazine before joining Mamás Latinas. On most nights you can find me working my way through my library of cookbooks or playing with my puppy Lola (my only child so far). I have a wonderful hubby who shares my passion for any and all kinds of travel. Together, we've formed a semi-professional wine drinking team.

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