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Antonio Banderas quits smoking after heart attack

Madrid (AFP) – Spanish film star Antonio Banderas says he has quit smoking since suffering a heart attack in January and will work at a slower pace from now on.

“If there is something good that came from all of this, it is that I suddenly stopped smoking, without needing pills or anything like that. It’s over!” the 56-year-old said in an interview with the Spanish daily Diario Sur at his home in the southern city of Malaga.

“I’m going to keep working but I’m going to do it at another rhythm. I am going to give myself space, take time between productions, and above all make the jump which I have yearned for a long time, and put myself behind the camera, write my scripts.”

Banderas, known for roles in such films as “The Mask of Zorro” and “Philadelphia”, announced at a film festival in Malaga last month that he had three stents placed in his arteries after having a heart attack in January.

He said he had recovered fully, with no damage to his heart.