"There were people who literally didn't give us more than six months!" But they proved them wrong and spent almost two decades married.
Wonderful and messy at the same time — that's what most relationships are like. And when it gets tough, you wish you could switch off or erase all the love you feel for your partner but nothing can change how much you care about them. That's what's special in the relationship between Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas. Through 18 years of marriage, they saw the best and worst together. Since the day he fell in love, nothing has changed the love they felt for each other, not even divorce.
When the It-girl of the 80s met the charming, handsome hunk from Spain, it led to them having a passionate romance and the kind of spark that people envy.
Antonio Banderas was smitten from the moment he saw her. He said, "I saw this beautiful woman with a cream dress, with pearls,” and he immediately asked director, Pedro Almodovar, who she was, as reported by InStyle.
When they met on the sets of Two Much in 1995, it was love at first sight for Melanie Griffith, despite him asking the most strange first question. "He's very funny. The first thing he asked me was my age," she told AARP. "I said, 'That's the rudest thing anyone has asked me first.' But there was something about him. Still is. I just love him."
They soon realized that it wasn't just on-set infatuation, but true love. "It was very, very fast and very compulsive, but at the same time, we were tied at the time," Antonio Banderas said about their time on set. "We tried as much as we could to be respectful. We just thought this may be one of those, you know, infatuation moments that we have when we shoot movies because we got to play together a couple, so let's just go home."
But it wasn't so easy. Even though they had their own separate relationships with other people, they couldn't ignore the attraction they felt for each other. They eventually divorced their partners and married each other in 1996.
"Melanie and I, what we do is, believe it or not, just live day by day. We walk in this path together and we don’t know if the path is going to take us to that goal of being together forever," Antonio Banderas told Parade as he talked about long-term commitment. "I do hope someday we can just look at each other and go, ‘Wow, we’ve been together for 40 years.’ Our marriage is definitely working, in spite of a lot of obstacles that we are overcoming, but we’re happy, believe me.”
While Hollywood believed that their relationship wouldn't last long, they proved everyone wrong and shared 18 beautiful years together. What made their relationship work at the time was the understanding that things keep changing. Melanie Griffith said in 2011, "We're willing to change with each other, let old things die and new things be born. But it's a constant endeavor."
"There were people who literally didn't give us more than six months!" Antonio Banderas told HOLA!, according to Hello! "But we love each other, and above all, we love our family. We've figured out how to get past obstacles … and if you get past those, you only get stronger."
But his career would take Antonio Banderas far away for long periods of time. And eventually, the distance started affecting their relationship. They went on to get a divorce in 2015 and in a statement, they said, “We have thoughtfully and consensually decided to finalize our almost 20-year marriage in a loving and friendly manner honoring and respecting each other, our family and friends and the beautiful time we have spent together."
Although their marriage ended, it didn't end the relationship and the way they cared for each other. They still keep in touch and consider each other family. He told ET, "Melanie is my dear friend... we're going to see each other this week because she's still my family and my kids." He also vowed, "I will love that woman until the day I die."
After almost two decades of marriage, it's hard for those feelings to fade away. Melanie Griffith also said, "I love him and always will."