Banderas Explains Decision on Ataturk Role

HOLLYWOOD (Reuters)–In an interview with Daily Variety senior columnist Army Archerd–Spanish-born actor Antonio Banderas admitted that he had been interested in doing the biopic of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk "until I received so many letters about how many Ataturk had killed–kids he had sodomized–so I decided against it."

He also admitted he didn’t want to make another film (as with "Evita") where they would need bodyguards on the set.

"There are too many beautiful things around–like my wife and child," he added.

Asked whether there would be a Zorro sequel–Banderas–movie-biz-wise after 51 films–modestly said–"We have to see if it has legs–if we can reach 100 (million $). I’m very cautious. But it should have a strong international market."

Meanwhile–he’s enjoying the No. 1 standing. "My little sword won over all those fancy guns" in "Lethal Weapon 4" and "Armageddon."

Banderas noted that none of the films he’s made have ever given him the opportunity "to build a character that I know," so a sequel would be a pleasant first (or second–or third) for him.

He leaves next Tuesday for three weeks’ work in "The White River Kid" in Arkansas–then returns to Los Angeles to edit his first directorial pic–"Crazy in Alabama," then next year he’ll do "Phantom of the Opera."

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