Antonio Banderas has come full circle. After turning down the opportunity to play Spanish artist Pablo Picasso earlier in his career, the star will portray the complicated artist in National Geographic’s Genius: Picasso – a job that provided him with one major take away. “To be a true artist required tremendous sacrifice, the star told HOLA! USA on Thursday, April 19, during the show's interactive event in New York City. “For me, the lesson is really complicated artists suffer a big deal. They don’t fit completely in society, in the time that they’re living. It requires a lot of sacrifices, misunderstandings with everybody else."
VIEW GALLERY Antonio will play Pablo Picasso in National Geographic's Genius: Picasso Photo: Getty Images
"We all travel through life with a mask in a way. It’s one thing how we think. Another is how we act in front of other people. We are all actors in a way. Picasso never did that. There are no filters with him.” the Spanish actor continued during the event attended by his co-stars Poppy Delevingne, Alex Rich, Samantha Colley and T.R. Knight. “He’s a raw, raw man and that’s what makes him so interesting as an artist, as a painter and at the same time provoking many problems in his life.”
VIEW GALLERY The limited series also stars Poppy Delevingne, T.R. Knight, Samantha Colley and Alex Rich Photo: Getty Images
In his own personal life – the 57-year-old admitted that he has an appreciation for art and even lost one of his paintings to ex-wife Melanie Griffith when they split in 2015. “I had two Picassos, I lost one in my divorce,” he joked with the crowd. "I like to collect art, but it’s limited to the economy that we have. I will not have big Picassos in my house, I can’t afford it. I have not done that movie that has allowed me to own an oil, so I have drawings.”
The Zorro actor, who has drawings and not oils, has a keen eye for talent. “I have young artists that I see now, that are very interesting, and I think are going to be a big deal in the future, so sometimes you make a bet on those artists."
Genius: Picasso premieres on April 24 on National Geographic at 8pm.