An inexperienced Antonio Banderas became a parent at the age of 35, to children who were then 6 and 10 years old respectively. Even though a lot of time has passed and he now leads an altogether different life, he is still considered a member of their family.
Antonio Banderas, a famous actor, was married to a lady who already had two small children, and he has said that it was nerve-wracking for him to marry into a healthy family of three when he was still young and inexperienced.
Both the Spanish actor Antonio Banderas and the American actress Melanie Griffith were still married to other people when they first crossed paths. Griffith continued to be married to the actor Don Johnson, whom she had already wed twice, but the couple divorced for good in 1994.
She eventually developed feelings for Banderas, who was working beside her at the time in the romantic comedy “Two Much” (1995). To all intents and purposes, he was still married to his first wife, the actress Ana Leza. On the other hand, the couple was going through a breakup at the time.
Banderas and Griffith remarried in a small ceremony on May 14, 1996 in London, exactly one month after the finalization of both of their previous marriages as husband and wife.
In a November 2011 interview with AARP, the actor of “The Legend of Zorro” responded to the question of what drew him to the native New Yorker by saying that he had “admired Melanie long before I met her.”
Banderas remembered the first time he saw Griffith, which was in the film “Working Girl” from 1988. He was captivated by her attractiveness and said, “Wow, she’s so beautiful, so wonderful.” Banderas also referred to Griffith as “a really remarkable woman.” Later on, he saw her on the red carpet at the Oscars, but he couldn’t remember her name:
“”It’s Melanie Griffith, you idiot!” shouted Pedro Almodovar. “It’s Melanie Griffith!” She has been nominated for an Academy Award, and the ceremony is tonight! After another six years, we finally tied the knot!”
Banderas said that they were both “unhappy” in their marriages when asked how they moved from their business connection to being romantically connected while appearing in “Two Much.”
“There will be times when things don’t go as planned, and unfortunately, that’s just the way life is. But we were aware that our state of happiness was not satisfactory. I saw her out and about with her children, and she made a stunning example of a mother “remarked the native of Spain.
Banderas noted that it is common for co-stars to build a connection while working together, and that in most cases, after shooting, everyone breaks connections. However, the same cannot be said of he and Griffith’s relationship since they continue to maintain contact with one another.
They maintained regular communication with one another up to the point when they eventually revealed that they had emotions for one another. Something that, according to him, “was not simple” to do. She was already a mother to two small children from her previous marriages when she wed the Golden Globe Award winner and became the star of “Frida.”
Alexander Griffith was Griffith’s first child, and he was born to her marriage to actor Steven Bauer, which took place in 1981 and lasted for five years until ending in divorce in 1989. It was during her marriage to Johnson, which lasted from 1976 to 1976 and again from 1989 to 1996, that she gave birth to her firstborn daughter, Dakota.
Banderas stepped in to raise Griffith’s children, although he was a “inexperienced” stepfather.
When asked how he attempted to integrate into the marriage while also becoming a stepfather to Griffin’s son and daughter, Banderas said that it was tough since he had to convince the children that he was there to stay:
“It was challenging since the children needed to accept me, and I had no prior expertise in the field. Suddenly, I had a 6-year-old daughter and a 10-year-old son. But everything returned to normal as soon as the children realized I would be remaining in that location. They need a stable foundation in order to develop properly.”
After coming to that conclusion, the actor from “Spy Kids” started “building my bond, offering them protection, and gradually doing the father thing.”
Banderas said that it took less than a year for his stepchildren “to understand that I was not transient.” This response came in response to a question about how long it took to set the children’s minds at rest.
It wasn’t long before he welcomed his daughter Stella into the world, which caused him to feel overwhelmed since he was still working on Alexander and Dakota’s relationship with him.
The time and effort that Banderas put into developing a close relationship with his stepkids paid off when he proved to be an asset to Dakota’s acting career. In 1999, the actress of “Fifty Shades of Grey” had her acting debut in the film “Crazy in Alabama,” which was her stepfather’s first as a filmmaker. She appeared in the film with her mother. In the movie, Dakota performed the role of Sondra.
She recalls sending pop superstar Madonna an Easter basket while they were shooting “Evita” in Budapest in 1996. This happened when she was a little girl and she spent time on set with Antonio Banderas.
These are the kinds of memories that are dear to her stepfather as well, and he once gushed: “She is the daughter of my. She has my love. I’ve carried her on my shoulders as we’ve gone from place to place all around the globe.”
Banderas also disclosed Dakota’s endearing childhood nickname for him, which is a mix of the term “daddy” in Dakota’s native tongue and his own name:
“It was Dakota who gave me the nickname Paponio, which is a combination of the words papa, which means “daddy” in Spanish, and Antonio. I’m her Antonio daddy, so Paponio.”
After an unhappy 18 years of marriage, Banderas and Dakota’s mother filed for divorce in June 2014 and issued a joint statement that read:
Melanie and Antonio say, “After much consideration and discussion, we have come to the conclusion that the best way to honor and respect each other, our families and friends, and the wonderful time we have had together is to terminate our almost twenty-year marriage in a loving and amicable manner.”
The former couple parted ways in a civilized manner, and Griffith said that she and Banderas couldn’t reconcile their differences as the reason why they went their separate ways.
Dakota’s relationship with her stepfather is one of continued affection and warmth.
After a number of years had passed, her daughter gave an emotional acceptance speech when presenting Banderas with the Best Actor award at the 2019 Hollywood Film Awards. Dakota became upset as she spoke fondly about her stepfather while addressing him by the nickname she had given him since she was a youngster.
“I was really fortunate to be born into a family that had a long history of marriages. I didn’t want to have a dad, but when I did, I got a bonus dad who, as time went on, I discovered is really one of the most significant individuals in my whole life.”
The native of Texas said that Banderas brought joy into their life and shared with them his sense of “creativity and culture.” Additionally, the native stated that Banderas brought “one amazingly magical young sister into our family.”
Chocking up, Dakota stated: “That’s my stepdad! Antonio Banderas suddenly appeared in our midst. We were blown away by his abstract English and how lively, entertaining, and amusing he was. He was an absolute joy to be around.” She said that the amount of “love” he had for her mother, herself, and her siblings was so great that it altered the course of their “lives forever.”
Banderas said in his acceptance speech that he wanted to devote the prize to “two individuals” that he loved. One of these people was Dakota, and he said that he appreciated the fact that she has always called him “Papi” and that she still does. After the ceremony, the loving stepfather shared with E! News Online that he “had no clue” that his stepchild would be honoring him with such a touching speech:
“Everything came as a complete shock. I was aware that she was going to deliver the speech, but I was completely clueless about the specifics of how she was going to deliver it. She did not share any information with me.”
The happy father said that it brought back all of the memories he had formed with his mixed family and that he was thankful for those “It was a validation to him that the time he spent with Griffith was not only about the two of them, but also about the family. They were all well worth the investment.”
When Antonio Banderas was promoting his animated film “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” in February 2015, it was scheduled to be released on the same weekend as Dakota Johnson’s film “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Banderas made a comment about how great of an actress Dakota was during his promotion of his film.
It was important to him to highlight that there was “no rivalry” between him and his stepdaughter since the audiences for their respective films were different. “I want Dakota the best, not just because of this movie,” he said, but also because he and the rest of the family, including Dakota’s real father, knew that she was a talented actress. “This movie is not the only reason I wish Dakota the best,” he said.
Banderas went on to say that Dakota will have a successful career due to the fact that she can represent a variety of different personas. He said that she was excellent in both comedic and dramatic roles, as was seen in the television series “Ben & Kate,” as well as in the film. He referred to it as a “opportunity window” for Dakota and said that he was certain that she would seize the moment with both of her hands and sprint with it.