Antonio Banderas on Melanie Griffith's recovery
September 23rd, 2011
12:40 PM ET

Antonio Banderas on Melanie Griffith's recovery

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.”

soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. Nachoj Macerad

    Great post and right to the point. I don't know if this is really the best place to ask but do you guys have any ideea where to employ some professional writers? Thx 🙂

    July 31, 2012 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  2. Investment Tips

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    July 8, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  3. Melissa

    A good man he is for standing by his wife and realizing that marriage is about life's ups and downs, but there is always a light at the end of that tunnel. I have to wonder if he is spiritual and has a relationship with God, because it's really hard to find a man with real substance these days. I think Melanie looks great and is not only beautiful, but a survivor as well.

    March 30, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Inge Toft

    Youngsters never think, that they will become old. I did not either. But age will come to all of us, if we live long enough, that is for sure, my friends.

    February 19, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  5. toni

    ewwwww mg look awful she has never been pretty to me eekk

    November 22, 2011 at 1:54 am | Report abuse |
  6. toni

    melanie griffin looks like a old dried up hag poor antonio run for the hills

    November 22, 2011 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
  7. sunsun from finland

    we have take learn love, what is love, now read how long Melanie and Antonio is merried, and "smile all ways" is was lovly read, you story and you father, is wondeful, someone is stenby all ways, not give up hope. Nothing is not easy, but we is storng, love is ever. But sometimes is good talk docdor too. I was computer, i have not working, and i coming here, read and now i have to written somethng, take cear eryone.... Lord pless you.

    November 19, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. live smile all ways :) don't give up :)

    Hello eryone, i written this, becouse i want say, don't give up hope ever....
    I look tv-show, where Melanie tell dranking, she is very good fighter, one live.... My father is alcohol roplhem, and he got heart attac, and now, heart is half troy, i scear show lot, i'm not see to him, if he drank agen. But i don't give hope, i can get help, to him. But how i get to him fighter fith psycolotig, my dad scear show lot psycolotig. If you some roplhem, i say to you don't give up, never is not be late, and what is maysing, i left risiting, Sweden see my dad, and he open to me ofcorse darnk, then i undestund, good, i'm not give up, and say, i don't see you, but contact with my dad, is best what i have.

    Wht is maysing to me, i have some experient what Melanie, i song, i play piano i like act, in teatre, but i am 26 old, and i go payting school, and mayby one year i study open university psycologith. Before i dream acting, but maby it is my bisnes 😀 And i was au-par Spanish, but now i not member of spanish language 😀

    Smile, live smile you.... written "fitghter one dad"

    November 19, 2011 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  9. ewa

    piekna aktorka

    November 10, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. buxxy

    I can't believe he's still with her. I guess he needs work.

    October 17, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Rooster911

    Wow, what a wonderful article - a great message of love, tolerance, and understanding...
    I wish they would make a reality show with people like this in it. Thanks for reporting this CNN.

    October 15, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jane

    I think that MG has a lot of warmth and sensitivity. She is still beautiful. she comes across as very human and even vulnerable,and not many of these so called celebs or modern actresses have that kind of feminine and too real vibe. She might have some plastic surgery ,but her soul is very real. Can you say that about these Kardashian vapid ,useless vultures or even some of the actual talented women around these days....vulgar,untouchable and posers.

    October 15, 2011 at 3:38 am | Report abuse |
  13. Keith

    I give them both credit for their strength in fighting the disease of addiction, for going public with their problem in the hope that it will help others, and for sticking together and seeing it through. Most spouses today, celebs or not, would have packed it in long ago. They truly have helped save each other as well as their marraige and are much stronger for it.. Well done!

    October 8, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Katie

    Is she seriously only 54??

    October 5, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Thor

    As I tell all my pretty women: "Bottoms up!"

    October 4, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  16. spin Dr.

    Antonio – What a man ! Just when I lose faith in men, one like Antonio comes along and proves me wrong ! You are very blessed, Melanie

    October 3, 2011 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
  17. CeeCee

    I'm shocked at her photo. Only her mouth has a hint of familiarity, from her previous pictures. She looks so much older than before. She looks as if she's had plastic surgery and it changed the real HER. Even her hair looks dry & limp. I love her character in all her movies. She is definitely a star.

    October 2, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |

    Wow. Melanie was so good in "Something Wild" and her earlier stuff. Whiskey wins again!

    October 1, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Jon

    It's refreshing to see that there are still a few people that will work through thing's in a relationship. In a lot of cases nowadays, it's just as easy as changing your socks to change your partner.

    October 1, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Mike

    Banderas is a quality guy. Congrats to the family for choosing to fight. Never give up. Great job.

    September 30, 2011 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
  21. Aubrie

    I always wondered about her slow, slurred, voice that made her so adorable....

    September 29, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  22. pat

    He's just too cute! All i can say...

    September 28, 2011 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  23. glenda

    I still remember Antonio with Tom Hanks in Streets Of Philadelphia. Great Great Movie.

    September 26, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Imani

    She is blessed to have a loving, caring, patient, supportive husband. And-he is FINE! We should all be so blessed. Good luck to them.

    September 26, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Maria B.

    Melanie and Antonio you are a beautiful couple. Congratulations for your achievements. Team up with God and go on. And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.Love.

    September 26, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Linda

    I commend Antonio for sticking by his wife. They have a beautiful child together. But for God's sake, why does this woman look so bad? Other actresses have surgery but she has looked totally haggered for years now. Her Mom looks much better than her! She used to be sooo cute. What a shame...I mean really!

    September 26, 2011 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
    • lyn

      give her a break, for crying out loud! big deal. She looks fine for 54, actually, she is pretty. you can only stop gravity for so long. Look at some of the older actresses, they are beautiful. Why are so ppl SO afraid of wrinkles, omigosh, how ridiculous and shallow! Look at the lessons learned in her life, look at what Melanie has pulled from this experience, and how she has experienced the love and kindness of her husband. THIS IS WHAT MATTERS, NOT FRICKIN WRINKLES!! GEEZ

      October 15, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Rita

    Love Antonio and admire him even more for being totally committed to his wife and children. You never here anything bad about him. Now that's a real man!! Some of you men could take a few pages out of his playbook. Melanie you are one lucky lady.

    September 25, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Lydia

    By the way, enjoyed the new Almodovar movie with Antonio enormously! Hope he makes some more Spanish movies like that!

    September 25, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Lydia

    I have just read some of the other nasty comments about this and some of you people really need to get a life. Hope Antonio and Melanie have many more happy years together!

    September 25, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Lydia

    Good luck to both of them. Congratulations to Antonio for being a faithful and supportive husband and to Melanie for overcoming her addictions. 17 years marriage in Hollywood is a long time. Antonio is a Hollywood star but also an old fashioned, faithful Spanish man who is very secure in his own masculinity and wants to take care of his wife.

    September 25, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Elaine

    I love them both. Melaine is a beautiful woman and always will be. Look at her mom Tippi Hendren is still a knockout at her age. I am glad they worked out their difficulties and stayed together all these years. And also always loved Antonio he is a great actor and must of watched "Assassins" at least 10 times.

    September 24, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Carolyn

    She is very fortunate to have someone who is as caring as he is. Were I him, I would have kicked her azz to the curb years ago. I am not an enabler..don't even like the word. An addict is a sorry azz person...I say let them choke on their own vomit...dig a hole and dump them in less piece of crap on this earth to take up space.

    September 24, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Miranda

      Apparently during either her last relapse or the one before it, he had enough and told her to get clean and sober or he was taking their daughter and moving out. So he does have his limits with her.

      September 27, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Playjojo

      I don't know, you'd be pretty hard to choke down.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sandra

      Geez thank God you are the should have been born in Nazi Germany!!

      October 14, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • cope

      You are quite the azz yourself... Hopefully no one in your circle of family and friends ever has a problem – you are a rather cold hearted beeyotch....

      October 14, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • lyn

      you have faults, things to deal with, we all do, maybe yours isn't addiction, sounds you are an intolerant, unloving person with a chip on your shoulder. At least Melanie has her husband in her corner, for better or worse, that says a lot about his character. I understand you should not be an enabler, but sometime in our lives, as humans, we may fall down hard, and it takes some ppl a little longer to get back up. Antonio gave her a boundary and she chose to honor it, good for her! Look at Robin Williams, he was a serious addict and recovered. Haven't you ever heard of AA?? Without the sponsor's patience, the person would never attain sobriety.

      October 15, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Paloma

    she is blessed to have him, he is so fine, she looks really old, those bad habits have taken their tole – amazing he did not cut her lose on that last relapse, hopefully she can hold on to recovery – stop the plastic surgery Melonie, we all grow old not matter what you do – part of life w/a partner is to experience that together – the heart never ever grows old – hang in there Antonio – sorry you gave up on us latin ladies 😦

    September 24, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  34. Dale

    It's been a lot more peacful without that been everywhere done everything know it all charlie crack.

    September 23, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Beautiful Vixen

    Whatever happened to Don Johnson anyway? I read that she was drinking wine at the age of 10 like it was soda (his wife's struggles w/sobriety link). Nice that her husband/family were there for her.

    September 23, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paloma

      He is in a new show this coming season, has aged, and looks really really good –

      September 24, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Terri

      ???? I just saw Don Johnson in Machete and he looked bloody awful 😦

      September 27, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  36. jeff

    She is so old and ugly she makes snooki look beautiful.

    September 23, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • lisaCA

      she's not old, she looks fine. She's my mom's age. Maybe someday day when you're fifty-four some idiot will say something stupid about you being old.

      September 28, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • cope

      Jeff – you are just a very foolish person who should probably say nothing but since you did, you've opened yourself up for comments on the ridiculousness of your statement. We can only hope you don't make it to "old"..........

      October 14, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lyn

      what a mean-spirited thing to say. we are all just human, doing the best we can. let's put the spotlight on YOU and see what comes up.

      October 15, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Sharon Fairchild

    Melanie is still a very beautiful woman who has struggled long and hard to overcome her additions. There should 50 million more men like Antonio, who has always been there for Melanie and obviously loves her. Congratulations Melanie and I wish you, Antonio and your children, the best life has to offer.

    September 23, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Kim

    Melanie Griffiths has always had great man-karma in my opinion. Don Johnson at his yummiest, Steven Bauer also at the height of his hottness and then she snags of my favorites! She must be doing something right and having some personal problems just make her more human. She attracts great loves because she is a positive and loving person herself I bet. Best wishes to them both for continued love and happiness

    September 23, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terri

      Did you see him in Tie Me Up Tie Me Down? Scrumptious! Kudos to Melanie; we should all be so lucky in love.

      September 27, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Leafonthewind

    As usual, there are some really mean people on this comment thread.

    Every time Antonio opens up about his relationship with Melanie and their kids, I admire him more. This is a real man, working to keep his family together and strong while facing real problems. Good for him!

    September 23, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Evel Knievel

    Let's all buy them a round of drinks.

    September 23, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Brent_CLE

    Who has had more plastic facial surgery? Joan Rivers of Melanie Griffith? YUCK!

    September 23, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Billy Gee

      Griffith has had more surgery, Rivers more plastic. I wonder what it's like waking up in the morning, looking in the mirror, and saying "who the flock are YOU", day after day. Just say no, age gracefully. But feel free to pump up the buubies if necessary.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jean

      Melanie Griffith has had more surgery, especially on her face; it has been reported on many different sites, blogs, etc. that Antonio beat her because she was constantly getting too fat... I haven't heard much of anything about his reaction to substance abuse, but I would suspect...

      Latin men are known for their lack of emotional control and control of their women...

      October 8, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Me

      @Jean, you're full of it. It says right in the article "Spanish." Banderas is European, from Spain.

      October 17, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Melanie

    As a matter of fact that is correct

    September 23, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |

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