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Antonio Banderas’ Heart Attack Led To Deep Puss In Boots 2 Connection

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish actor Antonio Banderas shares how his heart attack led to a deeper emotional connection to the character for the sequel.

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish actor Antonio Banderas shares how his heart attack led him to a deeper emotional connection when he voiced the character for the sequel. The latest film in the Shrek franchise saw Banderas return as Puss in Boots alongside Salma Hayek as Kitty Softpaws as they go on an adventure to find the mythical Wishing Star. Joining them in the movie is Florence Pugh, Olivia Colman, Ray Winstone, Harvey Guillén, Wagner Moura, and John Mulaney, respectively voicing Goldilocks, Mama Bear, Papa Bear, Perrito, the Wolf, and “Big” Jack Horner.

Now, in an interview with Radio Times (via CBR), Banderas explains how his heart attack caused him to look at his life differently than before. After going back to Spain and re-aligning his professional career, the actor says reprising his role as Puss in Boots in a movie that tackles the theme of death head-on saw him connect with the material more deeply than he would’ve imagined. Check out what he said on the matter below:

How Puss In Boots 2 Has Won Over Audiences
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish was a surprise hit among critics and audiences when it released in theaters on December 21. The last few installments in the Shrek franchise, Shrek the Third and Shrek Forever After, received mixed-to-negative reviews from critics. Even if the first Puss in Boots movie was generally liked, its reception wasn’t as strong as its sequel, which wasn’t afraid to tackle serious themes and had incredibly vivid, dynamic animation, particularly during its action sequences. Because of this, the sequel is the highest-rated film of the Shrek franchise, currently sitting in at 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, and it was recently nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 95th Academy Awards.

Whether it will win the Oscar remains to be seen, but the film quickly won over audiences by directly speaking on the theme of mortality, and having Puss in Boots be directly confronted by Death (through the Wolf) as he races against time to get his nine lives back through the Wishing Star. This at times saw the film’s atmosphere change from fun and zippy animated film to a pseudo-horror film. The Wolf’s piercing whistle gave those scenes a scary tone, and made the audience believe that maybe Puss in Boots wouldn’t make it out alive.

Even if Banderas doesn’t necessarily have creative control over the material, his performance as the titular character in Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is his most vulnerable yet. As he explained above, the heart attack gave him clarity on what was most important and his life, and caused him to emotionally connect with the material he was given for the sequel. Because of these elements and more, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish also connected with audiences worldwide and was a massive box office hit, seemingly confirming that Shrek 5 will be happening sooner or later.

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