Entertainment & Arts

Antonio Banderas: Puss, Pirate and Picasso

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Media captionBanderas perfects his pirate part

Antonio Banderas is promoting his new role as the villainous Burger Beard in the latest Spongebob Square Pants movie and in his next film he plays the celebrated Spanish artist Pablo Picasso.

"I'm not preoccupied but you have to try and be occupied," explains Banderas on his forthcoming role as Picasso.

"It's not nerves, it's about being honest and discovering in me what I have in common with him and studying him, his complexities and depth well enough to bring him to me and do a portrait that is fair."

The film 33 Dias, is set during the period when Picasso worked on his anti-war masterpiece Guernica.

If the pressure of playing a celebrated Spaniard isn't enough, both men also hail from the town of Malaga on the southern coast.

"People loved him and loved what he did in artistic terms and what I'm doing is trying to understand him and why he said the things he said and did the things he did.

"There's a sense of responsibility every time you play a character."

It is arguable whether that same sense of responsibility extends to Banderas' role as Burger Beard in The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.

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Image caption Guernica depicts the bombing of a small northern town in Spain during the civil war

The film, which opens in the UK on Friday, is already a financial success, having earned $280m (£187m) worldwide.

From Blackbeard through to Captain Jack Sparrow, history is littered with seafaring scoundrels so did Banderas base his pirate on anyone in particular?

"Of course there are pirates in the history of motion pictures, hundreds of them, and probably I've seen them all and something is in here," says Banderas gesturing to his head.

"But it's not like I thought: 'I want to sound like someone else'."

A veteran of Spanish cinema, thanks to his frequent collaborations with director Pedro Almodovar, Banderas flits between drama roles, action film and comedies in equal measure.

But it is providing the voice of a CGI fairytale character for which he has possibly become best known - the doe-eyed but deadly Puss in Boots.

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Image caption Banderas, pictured here with Salma Hayek at a Puss in Boots premiere, says another film is on the way

The swashbuckling feline first appeared in the Shrek sequel in 2004 and was reprised in the third and fourth films before landing his own film in 2011, marking the start of his own franchise.

"We've already initiated the process of making a new movie with him, probably in a couple of years he's going to be back on the screen.

"I love that cat man, it's so much fun and I like to voice the character. I've been with him since 2003, I was on Broadway at the time.

"But I love to make movies for children because you can do so much more and laugh and get your own personality in there."

Banderas' plans come as Netflix premieres its own animated series based on the character.

The Adventures of Puss in Boots, however, is not voiced by Banderas, but rather a Canadian voice actor Eric Bauza, doing an impersonation of Banderas.

But just how does the real Banderas feel about this?

"It's how Hollywood operates," he says. "If you create a character that can produce all of these different branches, it's just because the character is successful, so I'm very happy that it's happened."

The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water 3D opens across the UK on Friday 27 March.

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