Antonio Banderas Just Called Ex-Wife Melanie Griffith His “Best Friend”

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DeAnna Janes
·4 min read
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Photo credit: Frazer Harrison - Getty Images
Photo credit: Frazer Harrison - Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

  • In a new interview with People, Antonio Banderas called his ex-wife, Melanie Griffith, his best friend.

  • The pair were married for nearly 20 years before splitting in December 2015.

Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux. Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin. And now, Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas. All are proof that love isn’t lost after tabloid-splashed splits! Antonio is the latest screen star to gush over his ex to the press, and his words of affection for his “best friend” will make you wish you had even a single ounce of his sophistication.

In an interview with People, the man formerly known as your childhood fave Puss in Boots was totally smitten over his ex-wife, Melanie, but, like…in a purely platonic way. “Melanie is not my wife anymore, but I think she is my best friend,” Antonio said of Melanie. “I love her and will love her until the day I die. She’s my family.” Meanwhile, I am still full of hatred for my ex!

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2001 Cannes Film Festival 💃👠💃👠

A post shared by MELANIE (@melaniegriffith) on Feb 15, 2017 at 5:50pm PST

Antonio and Melanie, who at one time had “Antonio” inked on her right bicep (true story), spent nearly 20 years as a married couple, walking down the aisle in May of 1996. They share a daughter together, Stella Banderas, who is now 23, and Antonio helped raise Melanie’s daughter from her previous relationship with Don Johnson. Dakota Johnson, now 30, still refers to Antonio as “Paponio” (a portmanteau of the words “papa” and “Antonio,” aww). And although Antonio and Melanie divorced in December of 2015, their friendship hasn’t wavered a bit. They even still spend holidays together, per People. Imagine being this…mature???

The couple’s storybook devotion is worthy of its own movie, starting with how they met. In an interview last month with Vulture, Antonio described the first time he laid eyes on the Working Girl actress. Get a tissue, because chances are you’ll shed a tear at how cute it is.

“The first time I went to the Academy Awards after we got a nomination for Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, we got on the red carpet and I saw this blonde woman and I knew her because I saw movies of her, but I didn’t remember [her name] at the time. So I said to Pedro, ‘Who is she? Who is she? What is her name?’ Pedro said, ‘That’s Melanie Griffith!’ I said, ‘That’s it. Oh my god.’ Six years later, I was married to her.”

The “Pedro” Antonio was referring to is Spanish maestro Pedro Almodóvar. The two have collaborated on many projects together, including his film, Pain & Glory, a semi-autobiographical peek into a film director’s past that also stars Penelope Cruz. Antonio plays Salvador Mallo, a variation of Almodóvar himself—it’s a role that scored Antonio the top acting prize at last year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Photo credit: Oleg Nikishin - Getty Images
Photo credit: Oleg Nikishin - Getty Images

Sorry if this got your hopes up, but Antonio sadly isn’t single rn! He’s currently dating Nicole Kimpel, a 38-year-old investment adviser who lives in London (that’s the two of them at last year’s Cannes, above, JSYK). But that doesn’t stop him from hanging with the loves of his life. “My family is in Los Angeles,” he said to People. “I love to see them.”

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