Spanish actor Antonio Banderas is in Malaga casting for his version of A Chorus Line scheduled to open the Soho theatre in October. “It’s giving me a fantastic problem because there is so much talent,” he says
As he takes a short break from the auditions there is now sneaking out the back door or looking for a place where he can be alone he goes out into the hallway to laugh and joke with those waiting to showcase their talents. Looking directly into their eyes as he wishes them good luck, he turns to me and says: “Now I’m doing what I really want to do,”
Following on from casting calls in Barcelona and Madrid the final cast of A Chorus Line will be decided this week at the School of Performing Arts in Malaga.
Nearly 2,000 people applied to be a part of Banderas’s new project which will be the first show at the new 931-seat Caixabank Soho Theatre.
“I’m finding I have a fantastic problem. There is so much talent and it’s going to be sad because we’re going to have to turn down some very good people and that is a painful thing to do,” says Banderas.
While working on his pet project the Goya Award winner turned down two film parts, but he doesn’t care, after deciding that he needed a new direction in life after suffering a heart attack a couple of years ago.
“People live as if they are never going to die, but we all will. And I don’t want to die asking myself why I hadn’t done something. When I saw death close up, I thought: I have to do something I really want to do. I started my career in theatre and got into cinema almost by accident, although it has brought me some very good things,” he says.
Having made 112 films and spending most of his time in California the actor says he is tired of living abroad and wants to return home. “I want to do things in my own city, live in my home and only leave when they need me for work somewhere else,” he explains.
When talking about the Soho he insists that it will not just be a theatre, but a production and cultural centre as well.
“Our slogan is ‘for Malaga from Malaga’. Local people will be the first to enjoy the shows we produce, but we will also have to take them to Barcelona, Madrid, New York, wherever. The idea is to have a stage arts production centre which gives value to the city,” he says. “We want people to come, and find out what theatre is all about. Sometime in October, we will be here, waiting for them, keen to perform for them on their doorstep, in Soho”.