Spanish actor Antonio Banderas dances before receiving the honorary Gold Biznaga award during the 20th International Malaga Film Festival in Malaga on March 25, 2017. JORGE GUERRERO / AFP
Spanish film star Antonio Banderas says he has quit smoking since suffering a heart attack in January and will work at a slower pace from now on.
“If there is something good that came from all of this, it is that I suddenly stopped smoking, without needing pills or anything like that. It’s over!” the 56-year-old said in an interview with the Spanish daily Diario Sur at his home in the southern city of Malaga.
“I’m going to keep working but I’m going to do it at another rhythm. I am going to give myself space, take time between productions, and above all make the jump which I have yearned for a long time, and put myself behind the camera, write my scripts.”
Banderas, known for roles in such films as “The Mask of Zorro” and “Philadelphia”, announced at a film festival in Malaga last month that he had three stents placed in his arteries after having a attack in January.
He said he had recovered fully, with no damage to his heart.
The actor — who is dating Nicole Kimpel, a 36-year-old Dutch investment advisor — said his ex-wife, the American actress Melanie Griffith, had called him “practically every day” since he had the heart attack.
“I still have a great relationship with her and Nicole adores her. The three of us have had dinner together,” he told Diario Sur.
Banderas and Griffith, 59, who was nominated for an Oscar for 1988’s “Working Girl”, announced in 2014 that they had agreed to divorce “in a loving and friendly manner”.
It was the second divorce for Banderas, who was previously married to Spanish actress Ana Leza for eight years, divorcing in 1996, the same year he married Griffith.