Q: Antonio Banderas has done the voice of Puss in Boots in several movies now. In real life, is he a cat person or a dog person?
—Marilyn Reyes, Tampa, Fla.
In Banderas' family, cats rule. The actor from M laga, Spain, says, "My mother-in-law [Tippi Hedren, who created the Shambala Preserve for large cats in Acton, Calif.] has 72 lions. We live in a very feline family. We have four cats in Los Angeles, and [wife] Melanie [Griffith] is a Leo, I am a Leo, and my son is a Leo."
Needless to say, Banderas is pleased that his Puss character has become the star of a film, because when Banderas first came to America to star in Mambo Kings and Philadelphia, someone told him that because of his Spanish accent, he was destined to play bad guys and heavies.
"Many generations of Latino people came to this country…and they worked very hard to have their kids go to universities. Well, those kids are now doctors and architects, or they are on the Supreme Court. That has a reflection in Hollywood. So we are actually very proud that our characters are Latinos. I think it's good for diversity and cultural interaction. This movie is going to be seen by kids, and they don't judge in those terms. They're going to watch the movie and see that the heroes actually have a strong accent, and that is good."