Antonio Banderas was married to Melanie Griffith for two decades until their split in 2015. But despite the split, stepdaughter Dakota Johnson never stopped seeing Banderas as a powerful father-like figure. Divorced wives, not children, right? Right. And Banderas remains close with ex-wife Griffith, in part, he says because of Johnson and her siblings.
The Pain and Glory actor was presented an award by Johnson at the Hollywood Film Awards back in November and emotionally shared with the audience how Banderas changed her life. “He loved my mother, and my siblings and I so big, and so fiercely and so loud that it would change all of our lives together.”
And in an interview with E! News, at the 31st Palm Springs International Film Festival on January 2, Banderas opened up about his relationship with Johnson and her mother, ex-wife Griffith. He explained that Johnson’s speech back in November caught him very off guard.
“It was all a surprise,” he said. “Totally. I mean, I knew that she was going to give the speech, but I had no idea whatsoever how she was going to just do her speech, she didn’t tell me anything.”
And it truly moved him. “I thought and felt that all of those years,” he continued. “But I knew that it was a confirmation that all of those years that Melanie and I spent together, they were years that was not only just about Melanie and me, they were about the family. They were worth it all.”
The star went on to share that he will always consider Johnson to be his family. “And she put that on value that night and it was very emotional for me because that’s life,” he said. “And that’s one of the reasons actually why Melanie, we can look at each other‘s faces today.”
“We will go for dinner,” he continued. “We are pretty good friends,” Banderas said. “And it’s because of the way we understood our relationship and the relationship that we have with the people that love us and that were surrounding us, especially our kids. And I think Dakota took that expressing in a very beautiful way because she was, and she is and she will be very important to me.”