The Spanish star played lead male character Guido on the award-winning Broadway show before it was turned into a film starring Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman and Kate Hudson.
Banderas admits he was originally disappointed when he was dropped from the cast and replaced with Daniel Day-Lewis, but now he’s adamant he’s pleased he didn’t make the cut.
Banderas tells Empire magazine, “I was a little bit (disappointed), at the beginning. Not for anything special, just because I had an interview with (director) Rob Marshall in New York and he practically said, ‘You’re going to do it.’ And then they didn’t pick me up. It was weird because he didn’t even call me and just tell me, ‘Antonio, I’m sorry…’ or whatever.
“But then I thought it happened for the same reason that I left the show in the moment of most success: because sometimes things like that happen in life that are very good and you don’t want them to be spoiled.
“(The Broadway production) was eight months, 230 performances, two hours and 45 minutes every day on the stage. And I was very tired. I was thinking, ‘I don’t want to drag myself onto the stage… I have to get out of here.’ And the producers went, ‘What the f**k are you doing, man? Everybody is wanting to have what you have every night… We won the Tony! It’s great.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, but I want to keep this in a stand in my home: this beautiful package with a pink ribbon saying, ‘I did this and I left at the right moment and it was perfect.’
“And the movie could have broken that, too. In fact, it would have. Because… I wasn’t crazy about the movie. It was like a Champagne commercial. I liked Penelope though, in it! And Marion Cotillard.”