Antonio Banderas, whose new movie Thick as Thieves debuts this weekend in Spain, is still very much in demand in the film world and says he has no regrets about his career despite some mistakes along the way.
"I wouldn't change anything at all," the Spanish actor told EFE news agency.
"The things I've done have happened because they had to happen that way," said the 49-year-old actor, who recalled that he was the first to be offered the role of Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas in the 2000 film "Before Night Falls", for which compatriot Javier Bardem was nominated for an Oscar.
"I was a close friend of Julian (Schnabel, the film's director) and I didn't do it because another film came up, `The Body', that came and went without pain or glory, but I'd already signed and that role gave Javier his triumphant entry into the US," the Spanish actor said.
"But I don't have any regrets or feel resentment; even though envy seems to be a constant nowadays, I've never had any ill feelings like that. I have what I have; I play with the cards life's given me and I never look back, and why should I when life's treated me so well," said Banderas, who agreed to work on "Thick as Thieves" largely because of the chance to star alongside Morgan Freeman.
"He's wonderful. I did the movie for him. That's the truth. I was working on (another film, 'Dali') and everything changed all of a sudden, probably we'll start back now in May; I was in Marbella and when they told me there was a chance to work with him I got a flight and went to New York," Banderas said.
Banderas met there with Freeman - a best supporting actor winner for the Clint Eastwood film "Million Dollar Baby" - and director Mimi Leder ("Deep Impact") and they gave the green light to the project.
"Thick as Thieves" is the story of a veteran thief (Freeman) who hires a younger crook (Banderas) to help him steal two famous Faberge eggs from an impenetrable vault, part of an effort to pay back a debt to the Russian mob.
"It's a genre film, pure entertainment. There are some ulterior motives and nothing is as it seems," said the actor, who turns 50 in August.
Banderas will have a busy schedule in the coming months, with filming scheduled for both "Dali" and an upcoming Woody Allen movie.