So Long, Shrek!

TFK chats with Antonio Banderas, the voice of Puss in Boots, about Shrek Forever After

May 21, 2010 | By Vickie An

Everyone's favorite green grump stomps back into theaters for a fourth and final time in Shrek Forever After, also playing in IMAX 3-D. Shrek has come a long way since his days as the monster of the swamp. He married a princess, became a father and is now the biggest celebrity in Far Far Away. All he wants, though, is to feel like a "real ogre" again.

Puss hangs up his boots for a life of pampering in Shrek Forever After.
© 2010 DreamWorks Animation, LLC.
Puss hangs up his boots for a life of pampering in Shrek Forever After.

So Shrek signs a pact with the trickster Rumpelstiltskin, who promises to return him to his old life for a day. Instead, Shrek ends up in a world where Fiona is a wanted ogre, donkey is pulling carriages, and Puss in Boots is pampered and pudgy. Oh, and one more thing: Shrek was never born. Now he has 24 hours to make things right before he disappears forever. Will he succeed?

Antonio Banderas, who steps back into Puss's boots in Forever After, spoke to TFK about the end of the Shrek saga. What's next for the ogre's swashbuckling cat friend? Banderas gave TFK the scoop on that too.

TFK:

This is your third Shrek movie. What was it like stepping back into Puss's boots?

ANTONIO BANDERAS:

It has been fun from the very beginning. After we established the character in the second Shrek film, everything became very easy. At first, we did consider the possibility of providing Puss with a little voice to match his body. But then we decided to go with a bigger voice. In that contrast you can find a lot of comedy.

TFK:

What's more fun to play: a lazy and fat Puss, or a lean and limber one?

BANDERAS:

I actually had a lot of fun with this one. The cat that was so fantastically sly and smooth becomes fat! In this movie, I just love when Puss looks straight into the face of Shrek, with his eyelids halfway down, and he says [in Puss's voice], "Do I know you?" [Laughs] He has to make an effort just to stand up. And the pink ribbon is so anti-Puss in Boots.

TFK:

How do you go from playing a character like Zorro to playing a cute and cuddly cat?

BANDERAS:

Because I never believed that I was any of those characters. Although sometimes I dream! In my career I've done practically everything, and I love that. I have done musicals, horror films, animation, action, adventure… So, I didn't have any trouble traveling from Zorro to Puss in Boots.

TFK:

What has been your favorite Shrek movie?

BANDERAS:

For the ones I've been in, my favorite is Shrek 2 and the final one. But I loved the first Shrek because it was the one that broke the ice. It was the beginning of it all, and it was totally different than what we had seen in animation. I'm really happy to be part of something that is part of American pop culture. Shrek will be around forever.

Antonio Banderas, who voices Puss in Boots, gets animated in the recording booth.
© 2010 DreamWorks Animation, LLC.
Antonio Banderas, who voices Puss in Boots, gets animated in the recording booth.

TFK:

It was recently announced that Puss in Boots is getting his own spin-off. What can you tell us about it?

BANDERAS:

We have recorded two long sessions already. It is going to be epic! [In the movie,] you will see why and how Puss in Boots became what he is today.

TFK:

Would Puss ever make a deal with Rumpelstiltskin?

BANDERAS:

He's too sly. He can read beyond this guy's purposes. But Donkey would! Donkey is very pure in a way. The cat reads people a little better. I don't think he would have done it.

TFK:

Would you take the deal?

BANDERAS:

Myself? No. I wouldn't want to do that at all. I take my life as it is with the good and the bad. If all were good, life would be boring. I wouldn't make a deal, not at all.

TFK:

Shrek meets a lot of fairytale characters on his journeys. What fairytale character would you want to be friends with?

BANDERAS:

I always liked Peter Pan. There's something about him that is very mysterious, very heroic. As a child, I remember imagining those kids flying over London and going to that world and thinking that I would like to be Peter Pan.