One of the pleasures of the new film “Puss In Boots” is the almost preposterous amount of sexual tension that builds between the lead character Puss (Antonio Banderas) and his partner in crime Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek).
And don’t worry if you’re a parent. This isn’t something overt that your kids are going to have to ask you uncomfortable questions about, but it’s impossible to miss. Banderas and Hayek seem to have an indecent amount of fun together, and it’s one of the most infectiously silly things about the film.
Sitting down with the two of them together, that same chemistry is totally evident. Ever since they worked together in “Desperado,” they’ve had a very special onscreen relationship, and the filmmakers behind “Puss In Boots” took full advantage of that. When I joined them during the press day for the film, we talked about how director Chris Miller made a very unusual choice as far as the recording process was concerned, and what benefits there were to that decision.
Banderas is in the middle of a particularly great moment for him as an actor. He just reunited with Pedro Almodovar, the director who kickstarted his career, for the very strong and very disturbing “The Skin I Live In,” and now he’s the star of a film that, by all rights, shouldn’t have worked.
I’ll confess that when they announced they were making a film just about Puss In Boots, it felt like someone was making “Fonzie: The Movie,” with a peripheral character pushed to center stage, and that’s a dangerous proposition. I think it’s a real testament to just how much charisma and charm Banderas brings to the role that it doesn’t feel like an afterthought or a spin-off, but is instead a very funny adventure movie that stands completely alone.
Truth be told, I’d take any opportunity to chat with Banderas and Hayek, but when it’s in support of a movie that’s this much fun, it’s extra-pleasant, and I hope you guys enjoy the two of them as much as I did.
“Puss In Boots” opens everywhere this Friday.