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Antonio Banderas: My heart attack changed my life

The 59-year-old actor was rushed to hospital back in 2017 after suffering chest pains while exercising which was later discovered to be a heart attack, and he has now said the ordeal was 'very dramatic'.

Antonio Banderas appears on stage at the 23rd Annual Hollywood Film Awards show at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on 3 November 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. Picture: AFP

LONDON - Antonio Banderas' heart attack in 2017 "changed" his life, as he says the scare has also impacted his acting.

The 59-year-old actor was rushed to hospital back in 2017 after suffering chest pains while exercising which was later discovered to be a heart attack, and he has now said the ordeal was "very dramatic".

Banderas' life was changed by his health scare, and he thinks the impact it has had on him will also be seen in his acting.

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, he said: "I think, for us actors, everything that happens in your life is gonna affect your career. I don't believe those people that say, 'No, my career and personal life are two different things.' In my case, no.

"You know, the food for an actor is life. Obviously, this event was very dramatic when it was happening. It opens my eyes in a different direction and establishes an order of priorities that was different than before. So yeah, it changed my life and probably is going to change my acting."

Last week, the Mask of Zorro star credited his longtime girlfriend Nicole Kimpel with saving his life during the scare, as she happened to buy maximum strength aspirin for a headache the day before.

He said: "The night before that I had this event, my girlfriend, she had a headache and we didn't have anything in the house. So she went out to buy something, a painkiller or whatever. She bought this aspirin, which is the only thing that she found and she found the maximum one, I think it was five milligrams.

"The next morning, when I started having the symptoms and I clearly knew what was going on, she put one of those aspirins inside of my tongue and that saved my life. So I had a second chance, and some stuff changed in my life, since then."

And the Laundromat actor previously described his heart attack as a "turning point" in his life, as it changed him "psychologically".

He admitted: "It was a turning point, psychologically. And the tendency you have as a human, after a cardiac event, is to show yourself in a perfect state. You want to do even more. You go, 'I can do a good job!' And so I chose to do more interesting movies."

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