SAN SEBASTIAN: Spanish star wants to make more films in his home country and says Hollywood no longer exists - “It’s just a brand”.


Antonio Banderas has presented the world premiere of his latest movie Automata at the San Sebastian Film Festival (Sept 19-27) and used the platform to share his thoughts on Hollywood.

The star of Desperado, The Skin I Live In and The Expendables 3 told a press conference at the festival: “I’m looking to come home and make movies here, in Spain.

“Hollywood has ceased to exist as such, and now it is just a brand. I might have that brand on me my whole life, but I want to do more films from my own country. I recognize the talent here and I really believe in my people,”

Automata is the sophomore feature of Gabe Ibáñez, and is a co-production between Spain and Bulgaria. Banderas also produced through his company, Green Moon.

The post-apocalyptic film sees Banderas play an insurance agent that investigates why robots are beginning to act like humans.

“Why does only Hollywood make films with aliens?,” said Banderas. “Because only Hollywood has the money to pay for it. In Spain, when there are extraterrestrials it becomes a comedy. Money is such a big factor in film.”

The Malaga-born actor, much-loved by audiences in his home country, also discussed his producer role on the film.

“As a producer I have cut my salary, I have kneeled in front of people and used personal relationships,” said Banderas, whose co-stars with his wife Melanie Griffith, who has since filed for divorce.

“It’s true that in Hollywood, I’ve always had certain limitations because of my accent or ethnicity. I go straight into certain roles. I’ve been working in Hollywood for 23 years with a certain handicap.”

Regarding the film, a metaphor of contemporary world, Banderas said: “Autómata is about the loss of values of our age. It’s not a popcorn sci fi, it’s a philosophical film.”

Millenium Entertainment will release the $5m feature production in selected theatres in the US on Oct 10.

It will also play at the Zurich Film Festival (Sept 25 - Oct 5), where Banderas and Ibáñez will present the film.