Salma Hayek and Antonio Banderas offered their voices for the new "Puss in Boots" film, but the actors claim the family-friendly film is not just for kids.
"It was designed like that, to give everyone in the family a thrill, in different levels," Banderas told OnTheRedCarpet.com at a recent press junket. "Never are the adult levels of the movie going to hurt the kids. It's just very well crafted - the whole entire thing."
"Puss in Boots," which opened in theaters on October 28, is a prequel to the "Shrek" movies, which gives the back-story to the sword-fighting cat known as Puss in Boots (voiced by Antonio Banderas), before he's met Shrek and his friends. The film also features Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek), Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis) and Jack (Billy Bob Thornton) and Jill (Amy Sedaris).
"We're working mothers, so when we have time off, we have to spend it with our kids, we want to spend it with our kids, but people have to think of us too a little bit because you want to have fun too! It's your time off!" Hayek told OnTheRedCarpet.com. "And sometimes you have to see movies where you really want to get into it, but it's hard. For this one, I'm really proud of it because for the mothers out there and for the grandparents and the cool teenage brothers and sisters, because sometimes that's hard too, if you have teenagers and little ones, for the whole family to enjoy a movie is hard - and this is one of them."
Banderas is no stranger to playing computer-generated characters, having appeared in "Shrek 2," "Shrek Forever After" and voicing a bee in Nasonex allergy medication commercials, but the actor said that "Puss in Boots" was a different experience.
"It's very strange for us, when I saw the cat for the first time and when I saw the whole, entire movie in Cannes, the experience was very rare," Banderas said of becoming Puss in Boots on the big screen. "It was weird because somehow, I don't know if it was the will that I wanted to be him, but it was like I saw a movie where I was there. It's not only the voice, it was a very weird experience, I don't know if I should go there because it's very surrealistic, but it's true. As much as we've been doing more and more movies and the technology like you said, has been advancing so much and they have been working so hard to develop a 3D that finally is something that doesn't produce a headache that you can actually get into the universe. When I saw the movie this time, you have to separate yourself from the cat, you get out of the movie theater and you may have the feeling that you have the face that he has and you can do the eye thing and stuff like that, but it's not true. Unfortunately."
Hayek was also surprised by seeing aspects of herself in her character Kitty Softpaws, that she didn't even know were her own characteristics.
"Chris Miller the director, who was just wonderful and a joy to work with, he kept a lot of secrets from me, so I didn't really understand all of the film, except maybe some of my scenes," Hayek continued. "When I saw the film, I was so stunned by the film, even the story! I didn't know all of the story! They never gave me a script, they would take me scene by scene and when I saw the character, I saw some things that are more my daughter and I get that's me, but you're not aware you're doing it, so that was a little bit of a shock, but I love the character."
Though "Puss in Boots" is a funny movie, Banderas insisted that there was also more to the film than comedy and hoped some of the messages come through.
"It's not based on gags," Banderas continued. "It's not that type of thing but the humor is produced by the story itself, the contradiction of the character, there are very emotional moments too - we also reflect about friendship, about vision, about forgiveness, which is a very important one, I think, for kids to understand. I think it actually plays, like you said at the beginning of the interview on many levels, an epic level, an adventure and a comedy, big time."
Hayek was born to a Lebanese-Mexican father and Mexican mother. The actress moved to the United States more than 20 years ago. She revealed in an interview with V Magazine Spain last year that she endured "racial discrimination in Hollywood" at the beginning of her acting career.
Hayek was nominated for an Oscar for her role in the 2002 film "Frida" and had a recurring role on the comedy series "Ugly Betty." She has also starred alongside Spanish-born actor Banderas in "Desperado" and "Friday" as well as in the movie "One Upon a Time in Mexico."
"Puss in Boots" opened in theaters on October 28, watch the trailer below.
Reporting by Cari Skillman of KABC Television, parent company of OnTheRedCarpet.com that also produces the entertainment show "On The Red Carpet"(check for local TV listings).