Antonio Banderas Says Girlfriend Saved His Life During a Heart Attack
By Rachel McRady
Antonio Banderas is lucky to be alive.
The 59-year-old actor put his original Zorro costume back on Thursday night for his appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and though the spooky episode was lighthearted, Banderas opened up on a serious topic -- his recent heart attack.
"I was living life in a not nice way. I'm not a drinker. I was a smoker, which was probably one of the most stupid things I have ever done in my whole life," Banderas told Kimmel of his life before his January heart attack. "I was very lucky, after all."
Several eerie coincidences involving his longtime girlfriend, Nicole Kimpel, led to Banderas making it through the heart attack unscathed.
"The night before that I had this event, my girlfriend, she had a headache and we didn't have anything in the house. So she went out to buy something, a pain killer or whatever," Banderas recalled. "She bought this aspirin, which is the only thing that she found and she found the maximum one, I think it was five milligrams. She got some water, some other stuff, and at the time that she was at the cashier to pay the girl that was working there, she said, 'You just dropped that thing over there,' and it was the aspirin."
That aspirin that Nicole almost didn't buy ended up saving Banderas' life.
"The next morning, when I started having the symptoms and I clearly knew what was going on, she put one of those aspirins inside of my tongue and that saved my life," he recalled. "So I had a second chance, and some stuff changed in my life, since then."
The scary incident has caused a shift in Banderas' priorities.
"Things that I gave a lot of importance to stopped being important," he said. "You put attention to the real things. My daughter is the real thing, my friends, my family, and my vocation as an actor. In a way, this is very, it's probably stupid to say this, but it's probably one of the best things that happened in my life."