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Charming Cat And Loveable Ogre

In "Shrek 2," Mike Myers returns as the voice of the lovable green ogre. He will be on The Early Show Monday for an interview with co-anchor Harry Smith.

On the screen, Shrek is back again with some of the favorite characters from the first film, including his Princess Fiona and, of course, Donkey. But there are new faces, too, including a debonair, swashbuckling cat named Puss In Boots, voiced by Antonio Banderas.

Friday, The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm told Banderas that he steals the show as the cat with the saucer eyes and swaggering attitude.

"There is a team behind us that is unbelievable," said Banderas. "The way that they portray this character, the way that they draw him. It's just unbelievable. This is probably one of the most interesting teamwork that I have ever done in my life."

Hannah Storm said she finds it interesting that the filmmakers originally thought the Puss In Boots character should be British, then French. "Then they said, 'Absolutely not. He has to be a Zorro-esque, Antonio Banderas character.'"

She wanted to know if the actor fell in love with the concept.

"The first picture I saw of the character were those eyes, and I said, 'Oh, man, I've got to be him,'" Banderas recalled.

As soon as he was offered a part in the sequel to "Shrek," he said, "I was there. Absolutely there. Anybody, I think, in Hollywood would have said 'yes,' because the first part was beautiful."

He did his own hissing and meowing for the character, including the sounds of a cat coughing up a fur ball. At the time, he was starring in the Broadway musical "Nine," and he admitted that there were some notes he couldn't perform right after that.

Banderas was filmed as he was recording, so some of the animation is modeled on his own moves.

"It's freaky," said Banderas, "because sometimes you are recording and especially when you see the movie and you can see some of the movements you're doing when you're recording the voice and you can see on the screen -- and it's me, with a lot of the face."

He and his wife, actress Melanie Griffith, have a 7-year-old daughter, and Storm wanted to know what the little girl thinks of her father's performance.

"She loved it."

This summer, Banderas will be in Mexico, filming another "Zorro" adventure. But the whole time, he said, he will be thinking about Puss In Boots.

"It's true," he said. "It's going to be very difficult to take it away."


Some Facts About Antonio Banderas
  • Antonio Banderas was born in Malaga, Spain, on Aug. 10, 1960.
  • Banderas was once an aspiring soccer player, but an injury at age 14 forced him to reconsider his future.
  • In 1981, Banderas moved to Madrid, where he joined the prestigious National Theatre of Spain.
  • In 1982, the actor was cast in his first movie, "Labyrinth of Passion."
  • In 1992, Banderas made his American film debut in "The Mambo Kings."
  • In 1993, Banderas played Tom Hank's lover in "Philadelphia"; the actor also had roles in "House of Spirits" and "Miami Rhapsody."
  • Banderas' other credits include the "Spy Kids" trilogy, 1995's "Four Rooms" and "Desperado," 1998's "The Mask of Zorro," 1999's "Play It to the Bone," 2002's "Frida" and "Femme Fatale," and 2003's "Once Upon a Time in Mexico."
  • Banderas made his feature film directorial debut with 1999's "Crazy in Alabama."
  • Banderas will reprise his swashbuckling title role in "Zorro 2," and he plans to return to the stage next spring, starring in a new musical, "Death Takes a Holiday."
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