Antonio Banderas: aging is ‘more cruel unfortunately for women than men’

Antonio Banderas

Antonio Banderas is 54 years old now, which is hard for me to believe. It seems like only yesterday that he was hitting the sheets with Angelina Jolie in Original Sin. I don’t mean to discount his many other mythical roles, and he’s a talented voice actor too. He made a fantastic Puss in Boots, and he’s reverting back to kiddie fare for a bit. Antonio’s promoting his role as the only live-action character in The SpongeBob Movie. He played his pirate role part across from brooms and tennis balls, and then the special effects guys added his co-stars after the fact.

Antonio sat down for an interview. He reveals himself to be a closet SpongeBob fan, which is cute. Dakota Johnson comes up in conversation, and then Anthony talks about aging in Hollywood. He admits things are much harder for women than men, who can go the silver fox route. All of this dovetails nicely with Kristen Scott Thomas’ recent discussion on aging and takes the opposite view of clueless Russell Crowe.

Why he did this movie “My daughter [Stella, Banderas and Griffith’s 18-year-old] and I love SpongeBob, and I’d be a fool to turn down the chance to share the screen with such an iconic presence.”

On stepdaughter Dakota Johnson: “We all knew in the family that she’s a great actress, and surprisingly not only a good dramatic actress, she’s very good with comedy,” notes Banderas, who says he hasn’t watched Fifty Shades yet. “We’re very confident that she is driving her career properly.”

On aging gracefully: “If you take life in a natural way and you accept the passage of time, which is impossible to stop – never pretend to fight the impossible and the certainties that come with existence. I try to be as natural as possible. I understand though, especially [for] women, the tremendous pressure that they receive in a place like Hollywood, where thousands of new girls arrive every year all fresh and new, and when you’re getting to a certain age, they can feel the push of these things … It’s more cruel unfortunately for women than men. There’s a social convention that allows men to grow older and not be so criticised and pushed about beauty, and for women it’s different. It’s ridiculous, but that’s the way that we created image around ourselves.”

[From Nottingham Post]

This is a solid analysis from an actor who’s witnessed the effects of aging — upon himself and in the Hollywood workplace — firsthand. Antonio’s also paid close attention to what his ex-wife, Melanie Griffith, went through during various stages of her career. They couldn’t make it work as a married couple, but he’s said he’ll always love her. Antonio’s correct about how aging is “more cruel” for women, and this isn’t just a Hollywood issue. It’s a societal construct. Women are expected to stay wrinkle free with lovely hair, but men are allowed to go grey. It sucks.

Here’s something different. Antonio’s preparing to start fashion school. For real! Antonio will attend London’s Central Saint Martins, where Alexander McQueen, Zac Posen and Stella McCartney all learned the ropes. Antonio says that fashion school is “something that has been on my mind for a long time, and I need knowledge to take steps in that territory in the future. It makes me feel actually very young to put the elbows on the table again and try to understand another reality.” He plans to continue acting but wants to eventually launch his own line. To think, a celebrity who wants to learn a new trade instead of simply placing his name upon a line. Antonio’s no Yeezus.

Antonio Banderas

Antonio Banderas

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet & WENN

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68 Responses to “Antonio Banderas: aging is ‘more cruel unfortunately for women than men’”

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  1. Judyk says:

    Uh, really…because I don’t think he looks so hot.

    • applapoom says:

      Yah, exactly!

    • qwerty says:

      He didn’t say women age badly compared to men. He said society makes the process worse for them. The headline is a bit misleading. One you read his exact quotes, you see he’s totally right.

      ….Nevertheless, he’s dating a skinny blonde who’s 20 years his junior.

    • Bluevelvet says:

      Yeah, “Hey Antonio, have you looked in the mirror lately?” You’re not leading man material yourself. You were absolutely gorgeous in your heyday, but now, not so much. Life is cruel, no?

    • rachel says:

      Ha Ha…I agree. Does he think he looks any better than an aging actress? NOT!

    • Linda says:

      I was thinking the exact same thing, he’s not the man he used to be either!!

  2. Kiddo says:

    I’ll tell you what’s really cruel. That haircut.

    • Sarah says:

      +1. LOL!

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Really. Julia’s Cesar meets Satan

      I think most men in their 50s and 60s just think they look better than they really do, and our society promotes that view. Whatever. Feeding your husband through a tube is cruel. Aging is better than the alternative.

    • Needlehole says:

      I suspect he’s combing the top forward to cover a bald spot of general thinness on top.

    • Bluevelvet says:

      You win the internet today!!! Haha

    • Grace says:

      Ha! I was thinking that same thing. Dude, let go of the Caesar haircut.

  3. meme says:

    You don’t say?!

    • qwerty says:

      It’s not exactly a groundbreaking observation but I’m always happy to see an older man acknowledge this.

  4. Astrid says:

    I admire his drive to keep learning and growing

  5. Talie says:

    The media is starting to scrutinize men’s looks more — probably all related to the rise of menswear sales too. It’ll be interesting to see the tide turn a bit more. Although, I sincerely hope it doesn’t push men to get fillers and such. No, no, no!

    • qwerty says:

      It’s not so bad if it’s done well. Tom Xruise (typo but it stays lmao) had a complete facial rejuvenation (fillers, botox, probably lot more) a few years back and the results were amazing. Rob Lowe is doing it as well for sure. It can look good.

      But yeah, I don’t think it will on most guys. They won’t get the best doctors so the results will be worse.

    • Mispronounced Name Dropper says:

      The whole metrosexual push is driven by commercial interests. Not some newly found enlightenment. Unfortunately some people see the fashion industry oppressing men as much as it oppresses women as a victory for feminism. They be trippin’.

  6. bettyrose says:

    He’s saying Hollywood is crueler to women than men, not that women can’t rock the hotness just as long. He’s right but IRL women get more fierce with age while men often seem sadder or less content, like their glory days are behind them.

    • wolfpup says:

      Snickers..! Perhaps men blame women for their new personal failures in sexual ability, that comes with aging. Perhaps a new young thing, or another newbie of any sort, could help for a minute…

    • qwerty says:

      Your glory days ARE behind you if you’re impotent. No matter how bad aging (and social attitude towards it) is for women, I’ll take that over impotence any day.

      • bettyrose says:

        I wasn’t even thinking that extreme, though. Just women in the typical office casual workplace still having fun with fashion and hairstyles while the men seem resigned to slacks and loafers and beer guts… but maybe that’s all tied in to not feeling like a sexual being any more. I hadn’t considered that.

      • Veronica says:

        …because women don’t experience sexual dysfunction as they get older? *eyebrow raise*

    • Isabelle says:

      IRL men don’t stay hot either. Most are overweight, balding with lots of sun damage. Men show their age & are often clueless they’re slagging. They just carry on the fantasy much longer than women.

      • wolfpup says:

        The spring/autumn fantasy is carried mostly on TV. Guys in their 50-60’s who are available often have children and are not quite willing to make a commitment, if they have money for inheritances. They do want someone to take care of them as they age. No thanks, personally. Sexually, they don’t seem to change, except perhaps in ability; hence Viagra and friends…

  7. Umm, didn’t he cheat on his first wife with Melanie? Didn’t he JUST trade Melanie in for a younger woman? Go away, horrid, faithless man ho.

    • jinni says:

      Melanie also cheated on her than husband to be with him. So I don’t think sympathy should be given to Melanie for Antonio leaving her, since she knew exactly what kind of guy he was when she got with him. Also, since she is also a cheater she is also a horrid, faithless, hoe as much as he is.

      So in short, they deserved each other.

      • I’m not giving her a pass. My point is he’s saying how hard it is for women to age. Considering he’s yet to stick by one into old age, he should stfu.

      • taxi says:

        Melanie has had very serious addictions to alcohol & various drugs. She’s done a lot of live-in rehabs. Aside from their rumored cheating issues, addictions can ruin marriages. When your “partner” becomes an addict and you see years of substance abuse, marital roles can shift so far out of balance that a meaningful relationship is no longer possible.

  8. a cut above says:

    I know this is not what he said, so tangent, but: why do we all pretend that men age better than women, like it’s some kind of universal truth? I have not found this to be the case at all, in my real life dealings.

    • meme says:

      Look at Johnny Depp…he’s not aging well at all.

      • FLORC says:

        Exactly. Some men in Hollywood look truly awful as they age. And some women look more lovely. Forbwhatever reason people forget this and have laser focus on how negatively age hurts women while men become silver foxes.

        And Antonio looks awful.

      • laura.e says:

        Or Leo!

    • + 1. Women work with their age usually, men deny they’re aging at all. Watch the middle aged men trying to keep up with the 18-22 guys at a Bball court sometime as proof of this. It’s just embarrassing.

    • Jen43 says:

      True. I know a lot of attractive women married to no longer attractive men. Can we say that IRL women take better care of themselves? Or maybe we are more aware of our physical appearance than men are?

    • Cindy says:

      Yes! Thank you! Men do not age that well. I may get stuff thrown at me for saying this, but in general, I think women stay more attractive as they age. I know he’s talking about hollywood, but IRL, women stay prettier, longer, in my opinion. Maybe we just take better care of ourselves? I don’t know, but since this is a post today, how about scully and mulder? Scully is amazing, while mulder, not so much. Men really really don’t look that great as they age, I just don’t get this stereotype of the silver fox thing.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I said the same above before I saw yours. Men age just as badly, with a few exceptions, just like women. Jane Fonda. But we pretend they age better.its the Emperor’s New Clothes.

    • Ethelreda says:

      1OO% agree. In general, women take much better care of their looks than men, and while this isn’t so important in youth, it really starts to show as one ages. Add to this the fact that women are constantly reminded of the ‘horrors’ of ageing, while men are reassured that they age ‘like a fine wine’ – even if in most cases they certainly do not – then you can see why women make so much effort to take care of themselves, while men pretend that their balding heads, saggy moobs and middle aged spread are just SO attractive to women!

      Men are incredibly delusional about ageing. Not all men, of course, but very many.

  9. Shelley says:

    Oh noes to the hair!

  10. Ann says:

    Men generally age worse than women but are held to much lower standards.

  11. PunkyMomma says:

    Please Antonio, rid yourself of the Julius Caesar cut – the Ides of March have passed.

  12. RhiRhi says:

    Hollywood has more of a beauty problem. if it was based on talent we would see more older women. Judi Dench, Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren etc all have talent thats why they still work. that Megan Fox isnt hip anymore might suck for her but she only was there because of her looks in the first place.

    instead of stopping that Hollywood not only keeps doing it but applies the same to men. where are the ugly but talented leading men like they existed in the 70s? today we only have mildly talented pretty boys because thats what sells and what women want to see. the same is happening to them when they stop being relevant because some other young hot guy comes along. look at Zac Efrons downfall after he realized teenage girls outgrew him.

    • Charlie says:

      There are still plenty of mediocre looking men who are big stars ( Cumberbatch), but no women. Women have to be beautiful.

      • RhiRhi says:

        is Meryl Streep hotter than Cumberbatch?

      • Linn says:

        Meryl Streep is 27 years older than Cumberbatch so that’s not exactly a fair comparison. Imho Meryl was pretty attractive when she was his age, though maybe not in the mainstream/traditional way.

        The pressure on men to look good and young is certainly rising, but there’s still a pretty big gap between the genders.
        Not that I wan’t men to have to face more issues about their looks. It should be about improving the situation for women not harming men to the same degree.

      • Ethelreda says:

        But Cumberbatch is also attractive in a non mainstream way.

        And there are also highly succesful actresses like Maggie Gylenhall, Annette Bening or Frances Macdormand who, though attractive women, are not conventional beauties.

        So while there is a difference – I cant’ think of the male equivalent of Megan Fox, for example – I don’t think the difference is that extreme. Most actors, male and female, are physically attractive, but those who are talented enough can find work even if they don’t meet conventional beauty standards.

    • cornflake girl says:

      ”is Meryl Streep hotter than Cumberbatch?”
      Erm, yes?? And the ‘looking good for their age’ is ridiculous and offensive – so only 20-somethings can be hot? Meryl was not just attractive when she was his age, she’s gorgeous NOW. (sorry don’t know how to italicize so shouty capitals it is)

  13. LAK says:

    I’m always surprised at how old Stella is. Time has flown by.

  14. Cupcake says:

    He’s so hot!

    It’s not just a Hollywood or societal construct, it’s biological too. Men can theoretically have biological kids naturally as long as they live and women have a small fertile window.

    • Ethelreda says:

      Theoreticallly yes, but a man’s ability to get a woman pregnant in the first place, and then to father a healthy child, decline considerably with age. Many older men are barely able to get it up, let alone impregnate a woman. Then there are the obvious problems with an older man being the father of an active toddler, and maybe not even being around to see his children grow up. There’s more to being a father than the ability to fertilise an egg.

      So while men don’t have an absolute fertility cut off point like women do, they reach their biological prime at the same age women do, and it’s all downhill after that.

  15. I enjoyed him in Zorro, not impressed beyond that. He needs a hair stylist.

  16. Jonesy says:

    He looks much better casually dressed / tousled hair (last pic), than all dressed up with his hair combed flat (first pic). I saw the SpongeBob movie with my daughter, and he was really funny in it! I was surprised.

    And as far as “silver foxes” go, I think Melissa McBride (Carol on Walking Dead) looks very attractive with gray hair.

    • Crumpet says:

      I love her! I wish I looked that good with very short gray hair. Unfortunately my face shape says NO to that. 🙁

  17. jc126 says:

    All he’s doing is observing how the world reacts to women aging. I agree with what he said.

  18. Pandy says:

    Damn straight aging is crueler to women! After averaging 500 periods and PMS cycles, I’m tired of hot flashes/sweating my @SS off every day/night. This is year three … what happens to men to equate with any of this garbage???

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Ugh, I feel you, Pandy. Just went through that, and it completely stinked. Hang in there, one day it just goes away, or you notice, hey! I haven’t felt like my blood was going to boil over today! It was so hard, though. Also, I was TOTALLY PISSED OFF for a year. I could have just ripped the face off of anybody who looked at me cross eyed. But it does go away.

  19. serena says:

    Wow, so many mean comments! I like Antonio and I think it’s none of our business why and how he divorced Melanie. He may not be faithful, but he shouldered a lot with her, and always has sweet things to say about her.
    He also speak up to women, and I love that! Not that many actors do it! Although that haircut is unfortunate he’s an handsome man, but of course he’s not as ‘hot’ as he was 10 years ago.. I mean, that’s kinda normal.
    I hope he does well in fashion school, didn’t know he had an interest in fashion.

  20. misstee says:

    Its really hard to get into St Martins NORMALLY – I know a few people who trained there – I really hope this isn’t a back door offer and he has actually produced a decent portfolio because he shouldn’t be there if he hasn’t.

    Love him and would love to be at college with him but Urghhhh

  21. Camil says:

    Oh, Antonio I know you’re aging but to me you’re always will be my beautiful Armand from Interview with the Vampire.