The "Fifty Shades of Grey" star paid an emotional tribute to her mother Melanie Griffith's ex-husband when she presented him with the Actor Award for his new film "Pain and Glory" at the Hollywood Film Awards, and now the Spaniard is returning the favour, gushing about the actress to E! News.
"I knew that she was going to give the speech, but I had no idea whatsoever how she was going to do her speech, she didn't tell me anything," Antonio says, insisting the years he spent as Dakota's stepdad were "worth it all".
"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 (sic)."
Meanwhile, Banderas admits he is still close to Dakota's mum, because she made him realise they will always be family.
"We can look at each other's faces today," he adds. "We will go for dinner... 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."
Banderas was honoured by another top actress at the Palm Springs International Film Festival in Palm Springs, California on Thursday night (January 2), when his "Desperado" co-star Salma Hayek presented him with the International Star Award.