Is Antonio Banderas Just The ‘SNL’ Antonio Banderas Character in ‘Paddington 3’?

‘No Paddington, it’s too sexy!’
Is Antonio Banderas Just The ‘SNL’ Antonio Banderas Character in ‘Paddington 3’?

Things may seem pretty bleak right now, thanks to climate change, political uncertainty and every interview Jerry Seinfeld has given in the past eight weeks. Now, finally, we have some small measure of hope on the horizon: There’s a new Paddington movie coming out. 

The trailer just dropped for Paddington in Peru, which finds everyone’s favorite CGI bear journeying to his South American home country to visit his Aunt Lucy, along with the Brown family, of course. There are also a few new characters, including a nun played by Olivia Colman and a “handsome” boat captain played by Antonio Banderas. Judging from the trailer, it’s a wonder that this movie wasn’t titled Paddington 3: Mrs. Brown Cheats on Her Husband and Immediately Files For a Divorce.

There’s something kind of familiar about the way Banderas is acting in this trailer, right? Could it be that his cartoonishly flirtatious vibe and over-the-top sexy voice are because Antonio Banderas is doing an impression of Chris Kattan’s impression of Antonio Banderas? 

Beginning in 1998, Kattan regularly played Banderas on Saturday Night Live, depicting him as an aggressively seductive TV host who creeps on the female guests of “The How Do You Say, Ah Yes, Show” — despite warnings from his in-house band that his actions were “too sexy.”

It does seem that Banderas is pretty happy to parody the excessively sexy persona that SNL helped cement these days. For example, during a 2015 appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, he was tasked with turning the most unerotic statements imaginable into aural aphrodisiacs, including “I’m Jeb Bush, and I’m running for president.”

But as for the Kattan impression specifically, Banderas may not have been the biggest fan. And, really, who could blame him? One sketch ridiculed his then-wife Melanie Griffith, while others had him straight-up committing sexual assault. 

In a 2022 interview for the Behind the Velvet Rope podcast, Kattan confessed that the real Banderas “wasn’t too happy” with the sketches. So much so that when Banderas hosted SNL in 2006, three years after Kattan left the show, the comedian asked Tina Fey if he could come back and perform the sketch with the real Banderas, “but (Banderas) wouldn’t allow it.”

Instead, after flying from Los Angeles to New York, Kattan performed a Weekend Update bit all about how miffed he was that nobody had asked him to do his beloved Antonio Banderas impression in the episode. 

Weirdly, Kattan told this story slightly differently in his memoir Baby, Don’t Hurt Me, claiming that it was really Fey who put up roadblocks. “Kattan… What makes you think you can just come on the show and do your Antonio Banderas sketch?” Fey allegedly informed him once he arrived at the SNL offices. When Kattan stormed off, she yelled, “Chris Kattan, everybody!”

In this version of events, Kattan was then invited into Banderas’ dressing room by an NBC page, where the Desperado star lauded him for his impression. “Chris. Oh, my God. You are so de funny. Really. No joke. I am so de serious right now,” Banderas said, per Kattan’s book. 

Banderas then questioned why they weren’t performing a “How Do You Say, Ah Yes, Show” sketch together, and Melanie Griffith told Kattan, “We love the sketch. You got him dooown, honey.”

If this element of the story were true, it seems more than a little odd that Kattan would later claim that Banderas “wasn’t a fan” of his impression. If Paddington in Peru features a guitar-playing Jimmy Fallon, I guess we’ll know for sure.

You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter (if it still exists by the time you’re reading this).


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