Oscar-nominated actor Antonio Banderas recently opened up about his brush with death six years ago, when he had a heart attack. In an interview with Radio Times, he revealed that the experience was “one of the best things that happened in my life.”

He explained that it helped him look at his life “from a different point of view” and made him focus on what was truly important to him, which is acting. He said, “Since my heart attack, I’m looking only for the pleasure of acting. That’s it. I don’t care about anything else. For me, life starts when somebody says, “Action!” – or when the curtain comes up.”

The heart attack also served as inspiration for his latest film, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, which explores the subject of mortality. The film, which is the fifth movie featuring the sword-brandishing feline, follows Puss as he is on the last of his nine lives.

Banderas revealed that while the subject of death was never directly discussed during the making of the film, it was “probably referring” to it.

Antonio Banderas says the best thing to happen in his life was a heart attack

The actor also credited his girlfriend, Nicole Kimpel, with saving his life during the heart attack. Speaking on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Banderas recalled the terrifying moment and said that Kimpel, who is 40 years old, gave him an aspirin that she had initially gotten for his headaches.

He said, “She bought this aspirin, which is the only thing that she found and she found the maximum one, I think it was five milligrams. 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.”

Since the heart attack, Banderas has made several lifestyle changes, including quitting smoking, which he referred to as “one of the most stupid things he has ever done.” He is also passionate about the future of cinema and wants to see it saved, particularly in his home country of Spain.

antonio banderas

He explained that in some cities, there isn’t even one cinema left as people are choosing to watch movies at home. He added that the pandemic saw streaming platforms “take over” which he said was “scary.”


Antonio Banderas’s brush with death after suffering a heart attack has changed his perspective on life, and he now prioritizes the “pleasure of acting” over anything else. His experience has also served as the inspiration behind his latest film, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, which explores the subject of mortality.

He has also quit smoking and is passionate about saving cinema, as he believes that streaming platforms are taking over and it’s a scary situation. He is grateful for the second chance he got and wants to make the most out of it.

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