October 11th, 2011
09:45 AM ET
If Antonio Banderas owes his fame to one man, it's Pedro Almodovar. The Spanish director cast Banderas in some of his best films of the '80s, including "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown," "Law of Desire" and "Matador."
Those roles launched the actor's international career, but Almodovar and Banderas haven't worked together in over 20 years.
Until now: The two have finally reunited for the stylish thriller "The Skin I Live In." Banderas came to L.A. to promote the Spanish language feature, in which he portrays a mysterious plastic surgeon who develops an experimental synthetic skin.
In a post-screening Q&A with members of the Screen Actors Guild, Banderas praised Almodovar as a director who "defies the laws of cinematic gravity." But he also described him as a forceful personality who knows precisely what he wants from every member of the filmmaking team, from actors to set painters.
Banderas said the director nixed his original instinct on how to play the lead character. Banderas wanted to play it "big"; Almodovar told him to do it just the opposite. You can probably guess whose vision won out.
"To work with Pedro Almodovar is a leap of faith," Banderas told the SAG crowd. "You just have to trust." He describes their new collaboration as "almost like a homecoming. It was a warm feeling."
The R-rated film features lots of nudity, violence, sex and intrigue. It opens in New York and L.A. on Friday.
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