Antonio Banderas

Antonio Banderas closed out the 2019 Cannes Film Festival with a big win. The Spanish actor was awarded with one of the most coveted awards of the night. At the closing ceremony, Antonio was honored with the Best Actor award for his role in Pain and Glory. Directed by Pedro Almodóvar, the movie is semi-autobiographical and tells the story of Salvador Mallo, a film director in his physical decline. Although this is the eighth time Antontio and Pedro have worked together, the project was extra special as the actor played the director in the film. 

Antonio Banderas wins the Best Actor award at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival

"It's not just dedicated to him because he is my director, he's the character that I play," Antonio said after accepting the award at the Palme D'Or photocall. "There is so much in this award of him, literally him."  He also spoke about the challenges of playing someone who is not only alive, but directing him. "It's very interesting when you just play a character that exists, but if that character is behind the camera directing you, the situation becomes kind of surrealistic." 

MORE: Salma Hayek reveals she and Antonio Banderas are working together again

In the past, Antonio and Pedro have worked together in several films, including Matador (1986) and The Skin I Live In (2011). Pain and Glory premiered during the Cannes Film Festival. "It has been one of the most interesting, beautiful moments of my life to be directed by Pedro [Almodóvar]. "It's just an unbelievable exprience. It will be very difficult to repeat it the same way."

The Spanish actor was honored for his work in the film Pain and Glory

Immediately following the win, Antonio thanked his director during his acceptance speech. “I respect and admire him. I love him, he’s my mentor,” he said. “People think we live in a red carpet, but it’s not true. We suffer a lot, we sacrifice, and there is a lot of pain behind being an actor of any kind. But there is also glory, and this is my night of glory. The best is still to come.”

The Spanish actor was accompanied by his girlfriend Nicole Kempel during the star-studded Cannes closing ceremony. Many A-listers congratulated him for winning the prestigious honor, including his friend and fellow actress Salma Hayek. "Congratulations Antonio for winning the best actor award in Cannes," she wrote in a post that featured a photo of her and Antonio striking a funny pose. 

Pain and Glory arrives in theaters October 4, 2019.

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