Antonio Banderas on the Challenge to Play Picasso on 'Genius': I Had to Kill Myself
National Geographic Channel
TV

'I had to kill Antonio Banderas in order to start constructing, building somebody new,' the actor says of his approach to playing the real-life artist.

AceShowbiz - Antonio Banderas had to "metaphorically" kill himself to get into character as Pablo Picasso for new TV series "Genius". The movie star has always dreamed of playing the great artist, who also hails from his native Malaga, Spain, but admits perfecting the role was a real challenge for him.

"What I knew I had to do from the beginning is just to metaphorically kill myself," he told fans at Deadline's The Contenders Emmys event. "I had to kill Antonio Banderas in order to start constructing, building somebody new."

"I was born in the same town that he (Picasso) was born and he has been in my mind for a long time, but I had to just get away from that I idea that I know audiences have about me and doing certain characters, certain people. So it was a challenge in that way, trying to find Picasso somewhere in the middle."

"Genius: Picasso", the second instalment in National Geographic's anthology series, premieres on 24 April. The first season of the show focused on Albert Einstein, portrayed by Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush.

Banderas was joined at the event by producer Ron Howard, who hopes to bring more great men and women to life on the small screen in future seasons of the show. "Hopefully later, if this keeps going, it will be music and literature and all forms of genius," he said. "It's incredibly exciting."

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