B/R Exclusive: Salma Hayek and Antonio Banderas Talk Futbol, New Movie

Will Leivenberg@@will_leivenbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 27, 2011

B/R Exclusive: Salma Hayek and Antonio Banderas Talk Futbol, New Movie

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    Drooling and stumbling over my words. That was my nightmare.

    No matter how many times I rehearsed the questions I would ask Salma Hayek—the gorgeous, Mexican bombshell, passionate soccer fan, and co-star of the Shrek spin-off Puss in Boots—I couldn’t help but imagine myself freezing up, forgetting my own name, and sweating bullets on the red carpet premiere of her movie.

    Luckily, she was sweet and affable.  Salma stood alongside the other Puss in Boots star, Antonio Banderas, the original brass cat, and the two gave B/R some time to dish on everything, from their soccer allegiances to why sports fans will love this movie.

Why Should Sports Fans Go See Puss in Boots?

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    AB: Well, we have sport-ish moves. In the movie, we dance, we are energetic, but most of all, cats don’t sweat, so sports fans can learn from us.

    SH: What about the fencing? Don’t forget that! There’s great fencing.

    AB: We could be in the Olympics! Even though I didn’t have to work out for this role like I did for Zorro.

    SH: People just don’t realize cats are so athletic, so all the athletes out there will identify very well.

What Futbol Team Do You Follow?

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    AB: Although I am sympathetic to Real Madrid and have followed them for many years, I am from Malaga, and my team is the team of my hometown.

    SH: Mexico all the way!

Who Will Win the Champions League?

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    AB: In the Champions League, with all of the groups and playoffs, anything can happen. I'd like to see Real Madrid play well, but (I) don’t know how (they) will do because it will be (a) hard competition. In the end, though, Barcelona is obviously the favorite.

Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo?

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    AB: Messi, no question. 

    SH: I have to pick Messi. I love him. I think he is the best player in the world right now.

How Will Mexico Fare in the World Cup in 2014?

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    SH: I say watch out! Our team didn’t do so bad last year. They were just young and a little bit disorganized at times. But next time around, things will be different for Mexico. Look out in 2014!

What Footballer Best Represents Puss in Boots?

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    It seemed almost fortuitous that both Hayek and Banderas agreed upon their mutual appreciation for Lionel Messi—who is not only the world’s premiere soccer player, but the one player who most reflects the character of Puss in Boots.

    Considering his tiny, but speedy and scrappy nature on the field, Messi emits the confidence and composure under pressure, just as Puss does time and again.

Watch the Puss in Boots Movie Trailer

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    Don't be quick to assume this is just some animated "kid's movie." Antonio Banderas plays Puss, a fearless, swashbuckling, sword-fighting cat, notorious for his lustrous leather boots.

    Like a Robin Hood with nine lives, Puss courageously defends the innocent against the movie's nefarious villains, Jack and Jill (played by Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris).

    Alongside Puss are his trusty friend Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis) and the enchanting Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek), Puss braves the boldest and riskiest journey of his kitty career.