Antonio Banderas talks therapy w/ Melanie Griffith: ‘as many problems as anybody’

Antonio Banderas is the sexy cover boy for this months AARP magazine. I can imagine retired ladies sitting in their condos in Boca, fanning themselves at both Antonio’s inviting stance on the cover, and the sweet honest things he says about his wife in the interview. Antonio, 51, has been married to actress Melanie Griffith, 54, for 15 years and they have a daughter, Stella, who is almost 15. Last year Antonio and Melanie talked openly to Hello! Magazine about their issues as a family when Melanie needed to go to rehab for a painkiller addiction. Antonio made it clear that they had problems, but that they were ultimately solid and remained tight as a family and as a couple. He said “There are days that I’ve fallen in love with her many times over, because of things that she’s done.”

In this latest interview, it’s more of the same from Antonio. He’s so honest about what they’ve gone through that it’s refreshing. He also talks about how they fell in love with each other when they were both with other partners, and how he’s tempted to cheat too. I was so impressed with this interview.

aarpinsetQ: You met when you costarred in the 1995 comedy Two Much. How did you go from a professional to a personal, romantic relationship?

A: I think we were both unhappy with our different relationships at the time. I wouldn’t put anything on the shoulders of the other persons. Things just don’t work sometimes, and that’s the way it goes. But we recognized that we were unhappy. And I saw this sweet, vulnerable soul, funny, also very smart and generous. I saw her with her kids, and she was so beautiful as a mom. It happens sometimes that you connect with your costar. It’s normal. But at the end of the movie, it’s just “delete” — you go home and it’s good-bye. But it didn’t happen. We kept calling each other on the phone all day long. And then one day we had to actually confront it. And we did. It was not easy.

Q: That’s a long time for a Hollywood marriage. What’s your secret?

A: The secret is that we had failures before. And love at the beginning is a rush. It’s big, full of energy, beautiful. But it doesn’t last like that. Melanie and I talked about that a lot. Are we going to make the mistake of looking back for that thing all the time? Or are we going to look ahead and create universes that are different? We made the second choice. That thing at the beginning disappeared, but it became something better. We discovered the value and warmth of family, and what is home — that we can be stronger together. That thing that you thought was gone comes back again, and you fall in love again. Even in crisis, we have been patient enough to detect that at the end of the tunnel was a light. We have had as many problems as anybody. We’ve never hidden it. We’ve been open about addictions, in the case of Melanie. She has overcome her problems beautifully. I didn’t know she was so strong. It makes me love her even more, because she has been an unbelievable lion fighting, and she got it. The last [relapse] was three years ago, and it just welded us.

Q: When she went back into treatment? How did that weld you?

A: The whole family participated. We did all the therapies together — the kids, everybody. It was a very unique experience, not only for Melanie. It was very rewarding at the end.

Q: Many people want to keep these kinds of problems from their kids.

A: The pretending is the worst, because kids are so smart. They can see through all of those things, and if you don’t talk openly about problems, it creates a very dark place. They carry that through the rest of their lives, to their marriages, to their kids.

Q: Who decided to be open with them? You or Melanie?

A: Melanie. She was the one.

Q: Can we talk about fidelity and recent instances in the news of men behaving badly? Anthony Weiner, Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Edwards, Tiger Woods — what is going on?

A: It has always happened, and it’s not just in Hollywood or in Washington. Is it in our genes? Are we monogamous or not? Have we been trying to put men on a path that is not natural? I think men are drawn to the hunting — the psychological reaffirming of themselves in their manhood.

Q: So how do you deal with temptation when you’re in a marriage?

A: It’s a very, very personal issue how you deal with that. [You have to ask yourself ] if you are willing to damage what you have — your kids, your family, your friends. How do you deal in your sexual life with your wife? How rich can you make it in order to not have to look for something outside your marriage? What other things can you do, in your home? What are the things that you may tell her, or are you going to be always lying? There may be people who don’t even allow themselves to watch a movie and say to their wife, “Ah, that actress is sexy,” because their wife may get very upset. I think that you should be able to be honest with your wife: “I should be able to tell you that, yeah, sometimes I walk into a party and I feel there are women there that are very beautiful. And you shouldn’t be upset. In the same way, you may see a guy who’s very attractive.” The question is, how much will you stretch that? It’s all about balance in life. We all need water, obviously, but I’m not going to drink the pool. [Laughs.] I think it’s very important that you know exactly where the limits are.


That was so insightful and eloquent. I really enjoyed reading that and imagining Antonio saying it in his sexy voice! It’s even more impressive when you realize that he only started to learn English in 1992. He’s had plenty of practice, and he’s learned to express himself so beautifully. I get the impression that he hasn’t always been faithful to Melanie, and we’ve heard rumors to that effect, but that whatever happened he’s faithful now and he’s really learned his lesson.

On another issue, Melanie’s addiction to painkillers, that seems to be so common lately. I’ve had at least two friends who have been addicted to them after getting prescriptions for legitimate pain issues. My friends didn’t realize that they were dependent on the medication and that it was causing so many other issues with their bodies until well after they were addicted.




Photo of Antonio alone is from a photocall yesterday in Rome. Other photos are from July and August of this year. Credit:

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51 Responses to “Antonio Banderas talks therapy w/ Melanie Griffith: ‘as many problems as anybody’”

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  1. Auds says:

    He doesn’t have to tell us how many problems she has. Most Hollywood children have problems.
    What I like about this couple is their longevity. They seem to get through the rough spots. They were the Angelina and Brad of their day. The only difference is that Antonio and Melanie don’t have to go into overdrive to try so hard to be accepted.

  2. mia girl says:

    @CB… I think you transposed the numbers on Melanie’s age. Although I am sure she wishes she was still 45. 🙂

  3. mln76 says:

    Those were different times indeed Melanie would be burned at the stake today but I clearly remember her recounting the whole affair on Oprah and everyone applauding her for being happy. The 24 hour news cycle changed our need for constant scandal-Melanie was much more of a wild child than Angie ever was.

    I’m just wondering how many seniors suffered a coronary at the hotness of Bandares on the cover.

  4. Dani says:

    I will never understand his attraction to her.

  5. NeNe says:

    Wow! I am amazed at what he said. It was beautifully spoken. I never did care for him much, but I am kinda crushin on him now!

  6. Sweepea says:

    mln76 –

    I’m sure it was just a typo, but I laughed out loud at ‘Bandares’


  7. Celebitchy says:

    Oh I didn’t transpose the numbers on her age, thanks for pointing that out, I’ll fix it!

  8. RovingLass says:

    Agree with you, NeNe. Wish there was more of this honesty around.

  9. Quest says:

    Antonio is such a gorgeous soul…I love him and this interview is like the chocolate fudge on a cake. It is refreshing to see such a genuine interview. Love it.

  10. Jaded says:

    I didn’t understand his attraction to her until I saw her interviewed and she came across as the most charmingly honest, loving, humorous person, she’s absolutely delightful. She knows she’s taken a lot of hard knocks but she just gets back up and keeps going and for that I admire her.

  11. chloe says:

    I may have to fight my Mom for her copy of AARP this month. I’m looking forward to Puss N Boots and the The Skin I live In.

  12. aenflex says:

    I want to hate her. I can’t. I am glad for them, albeit jealous. But for him to love her as he does, she must be a good person.

  13. ahoyhoy says:

    mln76—Ain’t that the truth! Melanie was wild–wasn’t she still a TEEN the first time she married Mr. Miami Vice? She freaked out her family and everything.

    Melanie may look rough these days, but she is known to be very, very sweet. Warm and loving to a fault. I hope these two last forever!

  14. mia girl says:

    I have had a long, lush and exciting love affair with Antonio for years. Unfortunately, it is only in my mind.

    @mln76 you bring up a good point that Griffin did not really get a lot of negative press when she got together with Banderas. However, in Spain, Banderas took a lot of heat for leaving his wife of many years (I think they had four kids) for the “Hollywood starlet”. It was a big deal over there in the press.

  15. 4Real says:

    I totally read that in his sexy accent! LOL! He’s soooo hot.

  16. mymy says:

    Now Brad needs to read this and take note. Honest about how the relationship began. Can I get an Amen. This is what a real man looks and sounds like.

  17. Melissa says:

    Does he seem to maybe be alluding to a somewhat open relationship in this interview, or am I reading too much into his words?

  18. your mama says:

    He is just awesome. Love his blunt honesty. Refreshing~

  19. your mama says:

    Amen @mymy!!

  20. velourazure says:

    love love love antonio.

  21. Bella Bella says:

    Sometimes I wonder if we are seeing so many plastic surgery victims because so many actresses are really just addicted to pain killers. Believe me, an addict is not above having a nip and tuck to get the goods.

  22. Linda says:

    He’s kept and it’s cushy. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

  23. daisydoodle says:

    Well, I have a friend who was Melanie’s stand in and according to her she was a raving bitch…she was still married to Don Johnson and probably was drug addled at that point, so I’ll throw her a bone…

  24. Jayna says:

    I don’t get how he could stand her weird lip implosions. She complained in her forties about dried-up roles. But hers dried up because she got a too tight facelift too young and blew her lips up. I hated the photo of mother and teen daughter smoking I once saw.

    But she loves her man. I have always adored him. Very insightful interview.

    Whoever said he had children bf Melanie, no, he had none.

  25. oklady says:

    The entire time I was reading this article, I pictured the Nasonex bee speaking to me!

  26. Cerulean says:

    Ok. Liking him now. I always thought that they were good together. He seems like her rock.
    Lucky bitch.

  27. mia girl says:

    @Jayna Thanks for the correction. For some reason I thought he had kids with Ana Leza.

  28. chloe says:

    The only thing about her that I don’tlike is that huge Antonio heart tattoo she has on her arm. Ugh

  29. Kiki says:

    I love Antonio. Latin men have a certain special quality to them. Oy!

  30. jdao says:

    Sigh, he’s so dreamy! What a nice guy – she is lucky to have him!

  31. mzjask says:

    LOVE that she’s got his name tatted on her arm like that, i really hope they last!! i love couples who admit to not being perfect and that they have to work on their marriage. good for them, he is such a hottie!!

  32. Eve says:

    Well, I’m not retired and I don’t live in Boca, but I still find him attractive. Also, he seems to be such an easy going guy.

    Can’t wait to watch him (and Mark Strong, and my forever dong Tahar Rahim) in Black Gold.

  33. I can’t wait for ‘Puss n Boots’ !!

  34. BerMan says:

    He will always be ‘Latin Hotness’.

  35. Eve says:

    @ HorsePoorHanna:

    I can’t wait for ‘Puss n Boots’ !!

    Me too!

    By the way, the answer to that question is “yes”. Let’s go to Massachusetts, now!

    P.S.: Unless The Jolie finally makes the wise decision of ditching Pitt and comes to see me — you know, I’m straight with an “overdeveloped sense of adventure” (so says a male friend of mine) but no one stands a chance next to her (that’s right: not even Rahim).

  36. Anon says:

    I love Antonio! I helped out on an audio conference with him recently for the release of Puss in Boots and he was SO nice and well articulated. You can also tell he loves his family!

    I will forever has much respect for this man.

  37. Bec says:

    I want to share this interview with everyone I know. Who knew I would find such wisdom in an interview in with Antonio B? Ha! Also just comforting to know that EVERYONE has the same struggles in marriage. Thank you for posting this!

  38. gia says:

    Antonio is all that and he can play the guitar and sing. Sigh.

  39. Maritza says:

    I love his accent, I like to hear his nasal spray commercial with the bee. Melanie was really lucky to find him. This is another case of infidelity, yet it never the press the Brangelinas have had.

  40. valleymiss says:

    I will always love MG for Working Girl. She was so great in that movie! Ya know it’s funny…way back in the day when Antonio was shooting Original Sin with Angelina Jolie, I recall that the tabloids were giving her a ton of shit for being on set every day, keeping an eye out on Angelina. Not to bring up the dreaded triangle, but given Angie’s penchant for unavailable men, especially those she’s worked with, it looks like Melanie was right to follow those instincts.

  41. fancyamazon says:

    I love what he said, and it is so true. I believe that staying in love with someone is a decision you make every day. Some days it’s an easy one, some days, not so much.

  42. txvxf says:

    mymy: yes, exactly. Pitt could take lessons in being a decent human being from Banderas.

  43. I Choose Me says:

    Talk about refreshingly honest. Knew there was a reason I loved him.

  44. CooCooCatchoo says:

    @Oklady: “The entire time I was reading this article, I pictured the Nasonex bee speaking to me!l”. LOLZ!
    He is such a beautiful man – I remember seeing him onscreen in “Desperado” for the first time – yowza! My friend and I almost climbed over the seats in the theater, he was so hot!
    The fact that he’s so in love with his wife, and is so proud of her – and that he’s dedicated to her and their kids – well, that just raises his hotness quota 100%!

  45. Kara Ann says:

    #42 Fancy Amazon: I agree with you about deciding every day to stay in love. After 17 years of marriage, I can attest that it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes, when I read posts (here and other sites), I get the feeling that alot of people don’t subscribe to this theory and it’s unrealistic and sad.

    BTW, years ago I watched an interview with Banderas wherein he discussed how he and Melanie got together. He stated that it hurt alot of people and the genesis of the relationship (the fact that he was married) wasn’t something that he was proud of. It made me admire him for acknowledging that his actions affected others and that he did indeed hurt other people. At the same time, he talked about how happy Melanie made him.

    He was so refreshingly honest and sincere. I have liked him since then. It is so rare for anyone to accept responsiblity and accountability graciously that it stuck with me.

  46. MJ says:

    This is a great interview. Melanie looks much better now than she did 8-10 years ago – I have a sneaking suspicion she kept getting surgeries to keep her prescriptions going.

    He seems very intelligent, sensitive and articulate in this interview. This comment just made me tear up at work, because it really hits home for me:

    “A: The pretending is the worst, because kids are so smart. They can see through all of those things, and if you don’t talk openly about problems, it creates a very dark place. They carry that through the rest of their lives, to their marriages, to their kids.”

  47. Eve said YESSSSSS!!!!! WHOOPEEE!!!!

  48. Trashaddict says:

    Since I would not hurt my spouse and can only lust in my heart, I will just dream of being with Antonio on his honeymoon in Original Sin. Minus Angelina so I have a fighting chance.

  49. Lady La La says:

    THAT is a Grown-Ass MAN. Period.

  50. boo says:

    The first time I saw Antonio in a movie was in Women on the Verge, from the Spanish director Almodovar. He was very young then and I remember thinking “who is that hot guy”? You could not take your eyes off of him, years later he came to the states. I fell for him the first time I saw him in that movie! Now he’s older but still fine as always, and I’m so glad he is happily married.

  51. cprincess says:

    Whats so great about this is the fact that he’s on the cover of AARP!
    There nothing more appealing than a man or woman who is secure about getting older-she always seems so neurotic about age but maybe shes finally chilling out with his help….
    Actually I saw her on a hike with her dog a few months ago and she was really cool.