September 23rd, 2011
12:40 PM ET
Antonio Banderas opens up about his marriage to Melanie Griffith in the new issue of AARP magazine.
The Spanish actor shares about coping with his wife’s struggles with sobriety, and how they’ve managed to strengthen their relationship over the past 17 years.
“The secret is that we had failures before,” Banderas, 51, says of his longtime love.
“We discovered the value and warmth of family, and what is home — that we can be stronger together," he says. "That thing that you thought was gone comes back again, and you fall in love again.”
The actor says that he and Melanie, 54, have “never hidden” their problems, and worked through her substance abuse issues. “Even in crisis, we have been patient enough to detect that at the end of the tunnel was a light.”
“She has overcome her problems beautifully,” Banderas says of his wife. “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.”
Banderas and Griffith are parents to Stella, now 15, and Griffith has two children from previous relationships, Alexander, 26, and Dakota, 22.
The actor says he has a great relationship with his stepkids. “They call me Paponio — Papa and Antonio,” Banderas shares. He says the family banded together to help Griffith with her treatment.
“The whole family participated,” he says. “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.”
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