Antonio Banderas on Maintaining His Sex Symbol Status at 58: 'It's an Achievement!' (Exclusive)


The actor also opens up to ET about his signature style and serving as honorary president of Miami Fashion Week.

Antonio Banderas has still got it! 

Decades after his Hollywood career blew up in the '90s, the 58-year-old actor couldn't be prouder of the work he's done in film, philanthropy and maintaining his sex symbol status. 

"That feels great! Being close to 60, and the people call you a sex symbol? Ah, it's an achievement, baby!" he exclaimed to ET over the phone on Wednesday. 

Banderas, fresh off his Best Actor win for his role in Pedro Almodovar's Pain and Glory at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, is now in Miami, Florida, where he's serving as the honorary president of Miami Fashion Week. 

"I had a commitment with Miami Fashion Week from four years ago, and no matter what I have in Cannes, no matter if I'm doing a movie, I had this commitment to come over here and just become, in a way, the voice of the Miami Fashion Week. And I have to fulfill my commitment," he stated matter-of-factly of his busy schedule. But working with Miami Fashion Week is more than just another gig for Banderas. He thrives on the city's energy and his personal connection to it. 

"This city means a lot to me," said the actor, who noted that the Miami Film Festival supported the Almodovar movies he starred in during the early '80s. He also met "the woman who was my wife and the mother of my baby," Melanie Griffith, in Miami while the two were filming the 1996 movie Two Much. 

"So, Miami has always been a very special place to me, besides it's a place that I can basically, 80 percent of the time, speak my own language and that relaxes me, being in this country. So, I feel very comfortable here," he explained. "I just love, also, the environment. When I'm talking about the environment, it's not just the human environment -- but just to be close to the Caribbean, it's just something very special." 

Banderas at the Miami Film Festival in 1995. - Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Banderas also loves what the city has done in creating a platform for diverse designers and models through Miami Fashion Week. "We [have been] trying, the last four years, to put an accent basically on the Spanish designers and designers coming from South America, because we know that Miami, at the same time, is a very inspirational city for all South Americans... [And] the possibility that some of the designers who are coming from those countries are projected into a bigger world is enormous," he said. 

"Fashion is linked to a different way of perceiving reality," Banderas continued, pointing out that the effects of the recent emphasis on women's empowerment can be seen through the designs coming down the runway. "Fashion is often a reflection of our society, not only in an individual way, but in a collective way. We are sending messages, that's what we do with fashion." 

As for what messages he's sending with fashion, the actor admitted it's not easy to pin him down. "I was styled young, and now I'm styled old," he said of how his personal style has evolved, chuckling. "That's what happened."

"But it depends. I'm very eclectic, if you will," Banderas shared. "It sometimes depends on the place where I am. For example, when I was in Cannes for the festival, I was wearing those Picasso T-shirts with a lot of stripes and blue and white pants all the time with blue blazers and hats that I never use in other places... But if I go to New York, I may just use more leather jackets and boots and jeans that are darker. It just depends where I am. And I have to do a lot of red carpets, so I have to go in black and tuxedos and different things, so I am very eclectic."

"If I have to define my style, it would be that, actually," he said. 

Miami Fashion Week kicked off Wednesday at the Kimpton EPIC Miami hotel and will continue through Sunday, showcasing the 2020 resort collections of both established and new international designers. Throughout the event, Banderas will host a series of panels, runway shows, parties and charity galas. 

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