Antonio Banderas: Melanie Griffith ‘is my family, I will love her until I die’

National Geographic's Genius: Picasso Screening

Antonio Banderas hit the promotional trail for his new television series, Genius: Picasso, which debuted last night on National Geographic. Side note: I’m glad the hair he had to shave off to play Picasso is starting to grow back. He visited People Now on Monday. When asked about his ex-wife, Melanie Griffith, 60, he had nothing but nice things to say.

Antonio asserted that, “Even if we are divorced, she is my family and I will love her until the day I die. We have been in contact all these years and we managed to do a separation that is very elegant.” I would expect noting less than elegance from the voice of the debonair Puss in Boots. He went on to add that his children “are priority number one.”

Even though the Banderas/Griffith union ended in 2015, after almost twenty years together, the actors have remained friends, even remembering each other’s birthdays, and have been very supportive of their daughter, 21-year-old Stella, who is attending UCLA. Just last week, Melanie posted a sweet father/daughter photo to Instagram.

Father daughter forever ❤️#familydinner

A post shared by MELANIE (@melanie_griffith57) on

Since the breakup, Antonio has been dating investment advisor Nicole Kimpel. The two currently live in Surrey, England. Also, and I didn’t know this, about a year and a half ago, citing the stress of the divorce, the move, and his work on a whopping seven movies, Antonio suffered a heart attack. He admitted to The Daily Beast that the event actually helped him embody the legendary Spanish painter on the new Nat Geo series. He said, “It would have been a mistake to take on the character 15 years ago, 20 years ago. You see death closer to you, you are getting older. I am two-and-a-half years from being 60. It gives you perspective.” He went on to add,

“When you get older, there is more detachment from things that are not useful to you,” he says. “You start throwing out things you have been carrying around your whole entire life, kind of in a backpack. So that when you’re walking with all of this you say, ‘I don’t need this anymore. I can get rid of this and walk a little bit faster.’”

“It’s a type of thing you start to understand, especially after you had a heart attack,” he continues. “When you see death in front of you, it is a type of filter that helps you to see what is the essential. And you actually want to live with the essential.”

[From the Daily Beast]

I have adored Antonio since his days with Pedro Almodóvar. If you only know him from Shrek and Zorro, check out Law of Desire and Matador. You’re welcome. I’m glad he’s promoting the idea that exes can still be friends, and he seems like a great dad to Stella. He’s also here to help you decipher Spanish slang, courtesy of Vanity Fair. If I had a Spanish teacher that looked like him growing up, I could have been a UN translator or something by now. Using the words he recently taught me, I can say with 100% certainty that Antonio is la leche.

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

2018 Tribeca Film Festival - Genius: Picasso - Premiere

National Geographic's Genius: Picasso Screening

Photos: Getty Images,

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20 Responses to “Antonio Banderas: Melanie Griffith ‘is my family, I will love her until I die’”

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  1. Erinn says:

    It’s obviously on a case by case basis and there are situations where there’s no healthy way for exes to be in contact/friends. But it’s nice when it does work out. I have extended family like this- after the divorce all of the big family gatherings the ex husband was still invited to. It wasn’t a case of abuse, or cheating or anything like that- it was just two people who realized they weren’t meant to be married to each other anymore. They both moved on and are still friends, and I think both are remarried at this point. They obviously were able to work through their feelings in a healthy way – which again, isn’t always possible. They’re also both pretty mellow people overall, which also helps. But I admire the people who can put ‘normal’ differences aside and still be friendly, and co-parent to the best of their ability.

    • Léna says:

      I wish my parents could be like that. They divorced 11 years ago, when I was ten. My mom is criticising every move he makes since then (I admit he was wrong a few times but he made up for it). And she wonders why me and my little sisters are always defending him. My dad never said anything bad about my mother in front of us. At this point it has become so unhealthy, I just want to stop seeing and talking to my mother. (but i’m low-key afraid of her reaction so since i’m abroad I just answer her calls lol)

      • MandyPurr says:

        Lena, I feel you. My parents broke up 16 years ago when I was 16 and they still make all their grown children uncomfortable with the way they speak of each other. It made me never want to have kids. I would love to have two parents that are kind to– and about — each other. You’re not alone in being an adult that still has to deal with your parents break up. I would love if my father spoke of my mother the way Antonio speaks of Melanie.

  2. Liberty says:

    Agree with you on the Almodóvar Antonio. That is what I think of as well. Though you have to love his Puss n Boots!

    Nice that they maintain a kind relationship.

  3. Lala says:

    I have loved him since I first saw him in 1988’s “Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown”…and marvel at how he and Melanie managed to get through their marriage…which we see was fraught with so many issues…in a decent, mature way!

  4. Hazel says:

    I’m glad their daughter is pursuing a college degree rather than being a model on the back of famous parents like most Hollywood scions nowadays.

    • mkyarwood says:

      She just might be the only kid to really ‘see’ what the industry has done to her mother.

    • KLO says:

      it might be because she has seen her grandmother and mother and acknowledges that it is “not going to get better”.

      I am happy that she seems to have a good father. Melanie has her own problems but she is probably not that bad either.

  5. Betsy says:

    I always liked him, although I thought some modern day celeb-“crush” ruining news came out a while back. Perhaps I was mistaken.

    Their daughter looks absolutely stunning adorable.

    • Hazel says:

      She is lovely; I think she resembles Tippi quite a bit. And OMG!! I loved that lesson in Spanish slang! Antonio is la leche! (Did I use that right? Might have to watch it a few more times….😉)

  6. Snowflake says:

    I’ve always had a crush on him. Didnt he cheat on Melanie though?

  7. Gutterflower says:

    I have always liked him. Once Upon A time In Mexico, Desperado, heck even Take The Lead. He was hilarious in The Expendables 3 too.

  8. Lizzie says:

    i think they weathered a lot of storms in their marriage but they hung in for a long time. she had some serious substance abuse issues. i’m sure there was a lot of love there but it is very hard to be married to and share young children with someone working through addiction.

    • tracking says:

      I completely agree, though I also think there was a part that entailed his wanting to bone a younger woman. I love that they’ve remained kind to one another, regardless.

      • Lizzie says:

        i do believe, no matter the struggles, a wondering dong is unforgivable.

      • tracking says:

        Lizzie, I used to feel that way. Now that I’m getting older, I think life is complicated and hard sometimes, and I try not to judge so much. I do have a visceral dislike of the cliche of men leaving middle aged and up partners for young ones though.

  9. Larelyn says:

    Just came to say, the header pic on main page: he looks like a hairless cat. Appropriate, since he is shaved and plays puss in boots.

  10. Jess says:

    Antonio in Desperado will always be one of the sexiest characters ever. That guitar playing…yum.

  11. Angela says:

    I love that Spanish slang video! That was fun! And he DOES seem like he would be a good teacher! Maybe I would have taken Spanish instead of French if he were teaching at my school. If only.

  12. adastraperaspera says:

    I just adore him. He’s the only man who could have (maybe) convinced me to go straight! 😉