TORONTO (AP) — Antonio Banderas says his emotional state from having a heart attack a few years ago influenced his award-winning performance in the Pedro Almodóvar film, "Pain and Glory."

Banderas won the best actor trophy earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival.

In an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival, Banderas told The Associated Press that drawing on personal experience has always helped him, but Almodóvar stressed that he especially embrace it for the performance.

"I had a heart attack two and a half years ago and it changed me in certain ways, yeah, and Pedro detected that, and he saw it, and he says, 'you know, don't hide this thing,'" he said.

Banderas says he understood the famed Spanish director's message.

"I knew exactly what he was talking about, because after you have a heart attack you receive a lot of information on what life is all about that is very difficult to describe in words, but it just set up a new way of understanding life itself," Banderas said.

The 2017 cardiac event significantly changed his life, the 59-year-old said. Family and friends became more important.

"You become more raw," he said. "You eliminate things you thought were important in your life, you erase them out of your life."

He was also able to determine the parts of his career that were essential.

"I would say my passion for acting and for telling stories as it was at the beginning ... that came back," he said.

His new look on life culminated with getting the top acting honor for "Pain and Glory" at Cannes in May.

"It was very beautiful, because I've been an eternal nominee. I never got to get up there," Banderas said.

In "Pain and Glory," Banderas plays a film director with physical difficulties and a lifetime of regret. Parts of the story directly reflect Almodóvar's life, forcing the actor to tread carefully with his approach.

"Obviously, it's very weird to have a person that you are performing that is actually directing the movie at the same time. So, the amount of information that I had from him was direct and was not always information that was realized. It was information that was many times emotional," he said.

As for his health, Banderas says he's happy to feel better than he has in years.

"I'm doing exactly what they told to me," Banderas said. "I did something really stupid for many years of my life. I was a smoker, and the last cigarette I smoked was the night before my heart attack."

"Pain and Glory" will be released Oct. 4 in the United States.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.