Can Antonio Banderas play guitar? Antonio Banderas, aside from being a prominent actor, is also quite skilled with music, especially the guitar. In fact, he is actually the one playing the guitar in most of his movie scenes involving the instrument.
José Antonio Domínguez Bandera, more commonly known as Antonio Banderas, was born on August 10, 1960. If you’re a huge fan of his, then you probably saw movies like Desperado and Once Upon a Time in Mexico.
In both of these films, there are a number of scenes where we see him hold and play the guitar. It kind of makes you wonder, can Antonio Banderas really play the guitar? What are the other things we should know about him? How did he develop his music skills?
Let’s learn more about this amazing actor in this article.
Who is Antonio Banderas?
Antonio Banderas is one of the most famous faces to ever come from Spain. He primarily starred in films produced and directed by Pedro Almodóvar. However, he soon became popular in the US after playing a major role in Philadelphia, which was released in 1993.
From then, he took on multiple huge projects such as The Mask of Zorro, Interview with the Vampire, and Desperado. He also did voice acting in the Shrek films and Puss in Boots. Additionally, he also went on to direct a number of films.
How He Became an Actor
Originally, Antonio Banderas wanted to become a soccer player. However, he broke his foot when he was 14 years old, leading him to try and study drama. After a few local production appearances in his hometown, Málaga, he moved to Madrid to pursue a career in acting.
His Relationship with Music
Antonio Banderas never played music professionally, albeit he injected it into his roles in numerous films. He knows how to play the guitar, drums, and piano, and he knows how to play them well. He is also a great singer, and he seldom travels without his microphone.
He frequently plugs his microphone into his phone or computer, and he would often sing or compose a song while listening to a wide range of music. His musical background is influenced by a lot of artists and bands.
Antonio Banderas listens to musicians of all ages ranging from The Rolling Stones to Wynton Marsalis and from The Beatles to Mozart.
Antonio Banderas and the Guitar
It’s rather difficult to find videos of Antonio Banderas playing the guitar. However, as we’ve mentioned, he injected this talent into some of his roles. That’s why you’d find a limited number of films where he is playing the instrument.
The two most popular movies where you can see Antonio Banderas hold and play the guitar are listed below.
Desperado is a neo-Western film starring Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek. It was written and directed by Robert Rodriguez and one of the first films where Hayek’s acting career really took off.
In this film, Antonio Banderas plays El Mariachi, and he’s seeking revenge on the person who killed his lover. In the opening credits of the film, Antonio Banderas plays a guitar piece called “Cancion Del Mariachi.”
Additionally, there was also a part where a kid holding a guitar tried to touch Banderas’s hard case guitar, and he abruptly stopped him. The kid then went on to ask if Banderas (Mariachi) knows how to play the instrument. Banderas then borrowed the kid’s guitar and taught him a few things about playing the instrument.
The scene was rather short, but we still get a glimpse of Banderas’s guitar-playing skills.
Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)
Once Upon a Time in Mexico is another neo-Western film by Robert Rodriguez. It’s the third and final installment of his Mexico trilogy, with El Mariachi being released in 1992 and Desperado in 1995. It stars Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, and Johnny Depp.
In pretty much the same way as Desperado, Once Upon a Time in Mexico shows us playing the guitar in the opening credits. In this scene, he plays another guitar piece called La Malagueña (Salerosa).
The scene was set in a small town in Mexico, where we see dozens of stalls from guitar luthiers. One luthier finished making a guitar and handed it to Banderas (Mariachi) to test its sound. Banderas then held the guitar and started playing it.
He plays it for about 30 seconds before the opening soundtrack reels in and drowns his guitar work.
Antonio Banderas and Singing
Aside from playing the guitar, Antonio Banderas is also a talented singer. He was featured in one of Ana Bélen’s songs called “No Sé Por Qué Te Quiero,” which was released in Spain in 1997.
He also performed “Phantom of the Opera” with Sarah Brightman in a tribute show called Andrew Lloyd Webber: The Royal Albert Hall Celebration. Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber is the composer of “Phantom of the Opera.”
We can also hear Banderas singing in Shrek Trilogy with Eddie Murphy. As we have mentioned, Banderas played the voice of one of the characters in this movie named Puss in Boots. He and Eddie Murphy sang the soundtracks “Thank You (Falletin’ Me Be Mice Elf Again)” in Shrek the Third and “Livin’ La Vida Loca” in Shrek 2.
However, if you really want to hear Banderas showcasing his singing talents, you should watch or at least listen to the soundtracks of the musical Evita. He performed a total of 19 songs on Evita’s soundtrack album, some of which include collaborations with Jonathan Pryce, Jimmy Nail, Julian Littman, Gary Brooker, Peter Polycarpou, John Gower, and Madonna.
Antonio Banderas is one of the most talented artists to have ever graced the face of Hollywood and Western movies. Having been born in Spain, a country famous for its traditional style of music played with the classical guitar, it’s not surprising to learn that Banderas is also well-versed with this instrument.
However, there’s more to him than acting or playing the guitar. He also knows how to play a wide variety of musical instruments and carry a tune. Maybe in the near future, we’d be blessed with videos or films of him playing various instruments.
Eduardo Perez is a multi-instrumentalist with over 20 years of experience playing instruments such as piano, guitar, ukulele, and bass. Having arranged songs and produced music in a recording studio, he has a wealth of knowledge to share about analyzing songs, composing, and producing. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Musical Studies at Berklee College School of Music. Featured on Entrepreneur.com. Subscribe to his YouTube channel, or follow him on Instagram.