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realized that, I started establishing
my relationship, giving them security,
little by little doing the father thing.
Q: How long did that process take?
A: It took less than a year for them to
realize that I was not temporary.
Q: Are you all close now?
A: Yes. They call me Paponio—Papa
and Antonio. But Dakota is 22 already,
and she’s making movies. And Alexander is 26 and living in New York. And
Mama and I have been together for 17
Q: That’s a long time for a Hollywood
marriage. What’s your secret?
A: The secret is that we had failures
before. And love at the beginning is a
rush. It’s big, full of energy, beautiful.
But it doesn’t last like that. Melanie
and I talked about that a lot. Are we
going to make the mistake of looking
back for that thing all the time? Or
are we going to look ahead and create
universes that are different? We made
the second choice. That thing at the
beginning disappeared, but it became
something better. We discovered the
value and warmth of family, and what
is home—that we can be stronger
together. That thing that you thought
was gone comes back again, and you
fall in love again. Even in crisis, we
have been patient enough to detect
that at the end of the tunnel was a
light. We have had as many problems
as anybody. We’ve never hidden it.
We’ve been open about addictions, in
the case of Melanie. She has overcome
her problems beautifully. I didn’t
know she was so strong. It makes me
love her even more, because she has
been an unbelievable lion fighting,
and she got it. The last [relapse] was
three years ago, and it just welded us.
Q: When she went back into treatment? How did that weld you?
A: The whole family participated. We
did all the therapies together—the
kids, everybody. It was a very unique
experience, not only for Melanie. It
was very rewarding at the end.
Q: Many people want to keep these
kinds of problems from their kids.
A: The pretending is the worst, because kids are so smart. They can see
through all of those things, and if you
don’t talk openly about problems, it
creates a very dark place. They carry
that through the rest of their lives, to
their marriages, to their kids.
Q: Who decided to be open with
them? You or Melanie?
A: Melanie. She was the one.
Q: Can we talk about fidelity and recent instances in the news of men behaving badly? Anthony Weiner, Arnold
Schwarzenegger, John Ed wards, Tiger
Woods—what is going on?
A: It has always happened, and it’s not
just in Hollywood or in Washington.
Is it in our genes? Are we monogamous or not? Have we been trying to
put men on a path that is not natural?
I think men are drawn to the hunting—the psychological reaffirming of
themselves in their manhood.
Q: So how do you deal with tempta-
tion when you’re in a marriage?
A: It’s a very, very personal issue how
you deal with that. [You have to ask
yourself ] if you are willing to damage
what you have—your kids, your fam-
ily, your friends. How do you deal in
your sexual life with your wife? How
rich can you make it in order to not
have to look for something outside
your marriage? What other things
can you do, in your home? What are
the things that you may tell her, or are
you going to be always lying? There
may be people who don’t even allow
themselves to watch a movie and say
to their wife, “Ah, that actress is sexy,”
because their wife may get very upset.
I think that you should be able to be
honest with your wife: “I should be
able to tell you that, yeah, sometimes
I walk into a party and I feel there are
women there that are very beautiful.
And you shouldn’t be upset. In the
same way, you may see a guy who’s
very attractive.” The question is,
how much will you stretch that? It’s
all about balance in life. We all need
water, obviously, but I’m not going to
drink the pool. [Laughs.] I think it’s
very important that you know exactly
where the limits are.
Q: You had a big birthday last year.
How was turning the Big 5-Oh for you?
A: Perfect. Being in my 50s isn’t hard
for me at all, because I feel good. I
think the problems with being older
come when your body cannot do what
your mind wants. Then, Houston, we
have a problem. [Laughs.]
Q: How do you stay fit?
A: I do yoga every morning, then I run
for half an hour and take a sauna. And
I eat properly. I drink a lot of white
tea—it’s a very powerful antioxidant.
Q: Is there anything that you would
like to do that you haven’t done?
A: Oh yeah, but I will die with that feeling. Jumping in parachutes. I would
like to be a great piano player. There
are so many things, but there’s no time
in one lifetime.
Q: Are you still a Spanish citizen?
A: Yes. I have what’s called an O- 1 visa,
which allows me to work here.
Q: Have you ever considered becoming a U.S. citizen?
A: I love this country and have 20
years of memories here. My wife and
my daughter are American. But I am
Spanish. I love my country. And I
would have to renounce my Spanish
citizenship to become a U. S. citizen.
Q: Do you plan to return to Spain to
live one day?
A: I don’t know. Melanie and I bought
a house in New York five years ago.
The ideal for me would be to live six
[months in New York] and six [in Spain].
Q: But you live in L.A. now.
A: I know—because of the kids. And
because my wife doesn’t want to move
to New York! [Laughs.] ;