Antonio Banderas, Melanie Griffith find success post split: ‘The key is just to understand each other’

Antonio Banderas opened up about his amicable relationship with his ex-wife Melanie Griffith.

The 63-year-old actor and the 66-year-old actress, who divorced in 2015 after almost two decades of marriage, are parents to daughter Stella, 27. Banderas also became stepfather to Griffith’s son Alexander Bauer, 38, whom she shares with actor Stephen Bauer and her daughter Dakota Johnson, 34, with Don Johnson, 73. 

In an interview with Fox News Digital, the “Mask of Zorro” star shared his thoughts on the key to successful co-parenting. 

“The secret is just to understand each other,” Banderas said.

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He continued, “I’m a very good friend of my ex-wife. I don’t have anything against her. She’s a wonderful woman and I still respect and support that idea that everything that happened between her and me for 20 years was beautiful.”

“Of course, we had our bad moments,” Banderas added. “But the thing that I will remember forever is those beautiful moments that we had together. And one of those beautiful moments has to do with our kids and the family.”

Banderas, who now owns a theater in his hometown of Málaga, Spain, told Fox News Digital that he always spends time with Griffith and their blended family when he travels to Los Angeles.

“If I go to Los Angeles, the first thing there that I do is call her,” Banderas said. “We go for dinner, we just get together, the whole entire family. And so that is very important. Not only to us but to the rest of the family.”

“I think the kids — I think we did well,” he added.

The Academy Award nominee also weighed in on whether Stella would follow in her parents’ footsteps and pursue a career in Hollywood. 

“Maybe but not in front of the camera, at least not now,” Banderas said. “She’s doing short movies, she’s directing, she’s studied acting and she’s going to start directing some commercials too. And I think she’s going to end up directing movies.”

Banderas went on to praise Dakota Johnson, who rose to fame after starring in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy. “Dakota is a superstar,” he said. “She’s a bigger star than me.”

“And so what can I say?,” Banderas asked with a laugh. “Nothing to say about that, except ‘I support you.’”

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The “Pain and Glory” actor told Fox News Digital that Stella prefers to work behind the camera and has an “intellectual approach to cinema.”

“She thought about that many times and she probably thought about jumping in front of the camera because I remember talking about that with her,” he said. “She went to the Academy of Acting but she’s shy in a way and I think she feels more protected there with more capacity to tell a story than if she is in front of the camera.”

Banderas is starring as the villainous King Herod in the new movie “Journey to Bethlehem,” a live-action musical retelling of the story of Jesus’ birth.

Directed by former “Glee” music producer Adam Anders, “Journey to Bethlehem” also stars Fiona Palomo as Mary and Milo Manheim as Joseph, as well as Geno Segers, Joel Smallbone, Omid Djalili, Rizwan Manji, Moriah, Lecrae and Stephanie Gil.

During his interview with Fox News Digital, Banderas explained why it was important for him to be part of the film.

“I loved the end of the story,” he said. “I loved the way that it was told. When I read the script, I thought, ‘Oh, I’ll get this opportunity here for me to play a villain that actually can make people laugh.’

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“With all this delirium of power and villainous that this guy is carrying with him,” Banderas added. “And, at the same time, a movie that actually can peel all this story and go to the essential of it, which is actually love. And do it in a shape with music and humor and making not so dramatic the story.”

Banderas told Fox News Digital he believes the family-friendly film’s fun take on the Biblical nativity story will appeal to audience members of all ages.

“You are actually inviting people to relax and take the story in a nice way,” he said. “And in the world that we are living, everything is so important and so heavy and so complicated.

“If I have kids that are 4 or 5 years old, I want to go to the movies and have a good time with them and have some popcorn and laugh and, at the same time, be bathed by this story that’s been eternal.

“And the conclusion is love,” Banderas added. “And that is the message of Jesus at the end. If you just take that, that is what religion is for me.”

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