The Spanish director shared the story with IndieWire as part of a series of essays he’s been writing about his past while under coronavirus lockdown.
One year after Madonna invited him to visit the set of Dick Tracy, in which she co-starred with Warren Beatty and Al Pacino, the singer contacted him while in Madrid for her Blond Ambition tour.
Almodóvar remembers that she was “interested in meeting” Banderas at a dinner party the actor was attending with his then-wife, Ana Leza.
Upon arriving, Madonna was asked to be seated next to Pedro and Banderas, and is claimed to have requested that Leza sit at “the table furthest away” from them.
“At the end of the dinner,” Almodóvar wrote, ”Ana dared to get close to our table and told the divine blonde sarcastically, ‘I see you like my husband, it doesn’t surprise me, all women like him, but I don’t mind because I am very modern.’ To which Madonna replied: ‘Get lost.’”
Almodóvar continued: “At some point during the dinner, Madonna told me, ‘Ask Antonio if he likes hitting women”’(I swear it was like that). I translated it for him. Antonio doesn’t say anything, he mumbles, and he pulls a face as if to say, ‘I am a Spanish gentleman and I’ll do whatever a lady asks me to do.’”
He called this “the most amusing moment of the night”, and said he was coming forward with the story as footage her team filmed of the evening ended up being used for the singer’s documentary, Madonna: Truth or Dare (also known as In Bed with Madonna), without Almodóvar’s permission.
“I don’t mind if this seems like a settling of scores – if it had been the other way round, I would have taken such a hit in the form of a lawsuit I’d still be recovering from it. Madonna treated us like simpletons and I had to say it one day.”