Antonio Banderas

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Banderas began working in small shops during Spain's post-dictatorial cultural movement known as the La Movida Madrileña. While performing with the theatre, Banderas caught the attention of Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar, who cast the young actor in his 1982 movie debut Labyrinth of Passion. Five years later, he went on to appear in the director's Law of Desire, making headlines with his performance as a gay man, which required him to engage in his first male-to-male onscreen kiss. After Banderas appeared in Almodóvar's 1986 Matador, the director cast him in his internationally acclaimed 1988 film, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. The recognition Banderas gained for his role increased two years later when he starred in Almodóvar's controversial Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! as a mental patient who kidnaps a porn star (Victoria Abril) and keeps her tied up until she returns his love. It was his breakthrough role in Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, that helped spur him on to Hollywood. Almodóvar is credited for helping launch Banderas's international career, as he became a regular feature in his movies throughout the 1980s.

In 1991, Madonna introduced Banderas to Hollywood . The following year, still speaking minimal English , he began acting in U.S. films. Despite having to learn all his lines phonetically , Banderas still managed to turn in a critically praised performance as a struggling musician in his first American drama film, The Mambo Kings (1992). [9]

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