Antonio Banderas: Why I Acted Weird Around Melanie Griffith for 3 Months

10/13/2011 at 11:35 AM EDT

Antonio Banderas: How The Skin I Live In Impacted Me and Wife Melanie Griffith
Antonio Banderas
Jim Spellman/WireImage
Something wasn't quite right with Antonio Banderas. But his wife, Melanie Griffith, only later realized what was wrong.

The Spanish actor was filming Pedro Almodóvar's psychological thriller The Skin I Live In, and it was consuming him.

"When Melanie watched the movie in Toronto, something interesting happened," Banderas, 51, said Wednesday at the film's New York Film Festival premiere. "That night, when we got to the hotel, she was just looking at me weird ... and she said to me, 'Now I understand why you acted like that the last three months of your life!' "





"I said, 'What are you talking about?' She said, 'Yeah, you still have some remains of the character inside you.' Which, in a certain way is true ... It was so intense. It was so difficult."

In the movie, Banderas plays a deranged surgeon whose wife committed suicide after being terribly burned in a car accident. His character has since pioneered a skin that cannot burn, and is testing it on a captive in his home.

Needless to say, it's not a family film. Griffith, 54, and Banderas may not even let their daughter Stella, 15, watch it. Says the actor: "To the kids, some of them are not of the age, not only to introduce the characters to them, but not even to really watch the movie."

But Banderas was happy to work on something darker, and to reconnect with Almodóvar after 21 years. "At this particular time in my life, I needed that," he said.

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