Antonio Banderas grew up in Malaga, Spain, walking by the birthplace of artist Pablo Picasso on his way to school as a child. So it felt inevitable that he would one day portray him.
Banderas said he turned down such opportunities before signing up for National Geographic’s Genius series, which for its second season will focus on the artist. The first season, with Geoffrey Rush playing Albert Einstein, was a critical and commercial success for Nat Geo.
The Picasso miniseries debuts on 24 April in the US.
Banderas, speaking at a news conference from where the series is being filmed in Budapest, said he’s pleased with the seriousness in which producers have approached the project. They’re exploring the complexities of Picasso’s character, including some messy relationships with women. Picasso died in 1973.
“So far we are very happy, working hard but we have a long way to go,” Banderas said.
No pressure, though.
“If I don’t portray him properly, I may not be able to go back to my hometown,” he said.
Watch the trailer here: