What do Antonio Banderas and the cone bra have in common? Aside from being the subject of exotic fantasies shared by countless gen-Xers, they were also both introduced to America in the early 1990s by Madonna, who brought the Spanish star to the attention of audiences in the States when she visited Madrid as part of her Truth or Dare documentary.
In the film, the influential “Material Girl” singer meets her long-time crush Banderas at a party (a scene in which she makes an extremely awkward pass at him in front of his wife) and admits to having seen every single film he had made in Spain up until that point. Her endorsement was enough to pique the interest of Warner Bros., who cast him in the co-lead role in their 1992 Latin music drama The Mambo Kings, though as his English was pretty much none existent, Banderas learned all of his lines phonetically and pulled the part off without knowing the language.
As his English improved so did his prospects in Hollywood, and by the time the decade came to a close films like Philadelphia, Desperado and The Mask of Zorro had made him a household name. He remained a constant on our screens in the years that followed, reprising the role of Zorro and joining big budget franchises in Shrek and Sky Kids, though in recent years his status as a genuine A-lister has come into question. We don’t really hear much from Banderas nowadays, and here’s why.