In an interview given to The Indipendent, Antonio Banderas talked about his last experience with Pedro Almodóvar in Pain and Glory and the value of art beyond any prejudice. Recently, Banderas starred as his lifelong hero Pablo Picasso – both men were born in Malaga – in the National Geographic anthology drama Genius, for which he was nominated for an Emmy. While reviews were generally middling, the series was praised for the fact it addressed the artist’s misogyny as much as his art. (Picasso notoriously said that “women are machines for suffering”). Does Banderas think people are too quick to defend someone like Picasso or, say, Kevin Spacey, because of their genius?

Or the opposite. If you are a celebrity you may be on trial several times. There’s the normal trial in front of a judge, and then there is public opinion, and you can be condemned a thousand times and some people may come over on the street and hit you because they hate you.. You know, in Franco’s Spain, everyone was guilty until you proved the opposite. Well, we’re living in a society where you can be guilty in a second.

Cary Grant said something very interesting once. He said that when somebody accuses you of something, whether it’s true or not, it’s like taking a pillow with feathers onto a terrace on a windy day and letting the feathers fly away, but then trying to pick up every one. It’s impossible. The sting stays and, as a public person, you have to be very careful all the time.

And what about Quentin Tarantino, who co-starred with Banderas in DesperadoOnce Upon a Time in Hollywood has once again put the director in the dock over whether his films exculpate abusive male behaviour. Banderas said:

I think an artist should be free. Then people should be free to agree or disagree. You have the freedom to continue watching his movies or not. If you don’t like the way that Tarantino expresses himself on this particular issue,  you can say “I will never go and see a movie from Tarantino again”. Or “I love his movies and I’m gonna go and see them again”. I think we should respect that freedom. There are sometimes things in art that, I have to tell you, they bother me… but I will never, never, never censor them.

Source: The Indipendent

RELATED LINK: Kevin Spacey, Gabriele Tinti’s “The Boxer” and the audience’s emotions: art as renaissance

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