Banderas, sixty years of hard work and glory

Banderas, with his Goya.
Banderas, with his Goya. / REUTERS

  • The Malaga actor celebrates his six decades of life in quarantine, after announcing that he has tested positive for coronavirus

Actor Antonio Banderas was 60 years old on Monday, but he certainly didn't get to celebrate the round number in the way he would have expected up to a few months ago.

Instead he marked the day by announcing that he has tested positive for Covid-19 and that he will be quarantining until he recovers.

"I'd like to add that I'm feeling relatively well, just a bit more tired than usual, and confident that I'll recover as soon as possible," he said in a statement. He added that he would use his time in self-isolation to "read, write, rest and continue to make plans".

Banderas, who says he has reached the age of 60 "full of hope and excitement" for the future, came to a turning point in his life in January 2017 when he suffered a heart attack.

"I saw death was close, there was a point when it felt like I was going. Is it just going to end like this? How stupid, I thought," he said to SUR last year.

That was a wake-up call, a warning that he was living life too fast, but also a revelation. The actor, who hadn't stopped in 35 years of career, packed up and came home to his Malaga, to start a new quieter period of his life.

Just two years after that heart attack, however, Banderas played one of the best parts of his life; the alter ego of filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar in Pain and Glory (2019). The film brought him not just his first Spanish film academy (Goya) award for Best Actor - until then he only had an honorary Goya - but also an Oscar nomination this year.

Banderas's return to Malaga however came with a new project close to his heart, the creation of his own theatre in the city he grew up in.

The Soho CaixaBank project opened last autumn with the musical A Chorus Line, which in September will embark on the tour of other Spanish cities that was held up by the coronavirus lockdown.

Meanwhile Banderas celebrates his 60th birthday with the satisfaction of having fulfilled a dream but with the responsibility of keeping it going.

The pandemic interrupted the theatre's spring programme and as yet no date has been given for new performances at the theatre. It has however one date on its agenda for next year - the scaled-down 2021 Goya awards ceremony to be presented by Banderas and the head of his SohoTV production company, María Casado.

First though the actor could find himself with yet another trophy. A Chorus Line is a candidate for the Best Musical award in Spain's Max theatre prizes, due to be given out at a gala in Malaga on 7 September.