Currently filming or in some stage of production on a half-dozen movies, Antonio Banderas said at a film-festival news conference on Saturday that he had suffered a heart attack in January.
“I put a major punch to the potato in the last 37 years,” he said jokingly at the 20th annual Málaga Film Festival in his hometown in Spain, according to the newspaper El País. “I crossed the Atlantic seven times in a year — I was addicted to work,” the 56-year-old star of films including “The Mask of Zorro,” “Spy Kids” and the Shrek franchise told media at the Cine Albéniz. “But now I am very well and wanting to come back,” he assured, adding that the health scare has given him a new perspective.
Banderas, who was presented with an honorary Biznaga de Oro award for his career explained, “I had a heart attack on Jan. 26, but I was very lucky — it was benign and it did not leave any damage and right now I am in recovery period,” he said, according to combined translations from El País and another national daily, ABC. “It happens to a lot of people every day. . . . I underwent an intervention in which three stents were implanted in my coronary arteries, and since I suffered from arrhythmias for a long time I underwent a thermal ablation” — a procedure that uses heat to remove tissue or destroy its function — “but it has not been as dramatic as has been written.”
It was previously reported that Banderas had suffered chest pains Jan. 26 and was taken to St. Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey, Surrey, England, near his home in the village of Cobham, 17 miles southwest of London. But he gave no details at the time, and on Jan. 30 posted an Instagram image of himself and his girlfriend Nicole Kempel.
Not long before the festival, Banderas went to the Clinique Genolier, in Geneva, for a medical checkup, El País said.