Antonio Banderas says his 2017 heart attack is the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

That’s what he tells Sangita Patel during a stop in ET Canada’s Festival Central Lounge during TIFF. Acknowledging people may have a hard time accepting a heart attack as a positive event, Banderas, 59, says it’s all about his perception of his experience.

“There’s many different ways of receiving a heart attack, there’s people who cannot count, who cannot tell their story because it comes like a tsunami, but in my particular case, it helped me to understand myself better and the relationship and the life I was living,” he explains.

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“It changes you because you are more conscious of your vulnerability and you see the only thing that is actually certain is death. Everything else in life is relative but that one is perfect. When you see that, the only important thing is pop up and you can put in perspective everything else and say, ‘OK, this is what I really wanna do, this is the real people I love, my daughter, my family, my vocation, not my profession, my vocation,'” he says, adding his heart attack changed him “for good.”

The Spanish actor is busy living life to the fullest now. After winning the Best Actor award at Cannes for his role in Pedro Almodovar’s “Pain And Glory”, Banderas is bringing the movie to TIFF. A culmination of a near-40-year friendship with writer-director Almodovar, “Pain And Glory” sees Banderas take on the role of an aging director, worried his most creative years are behind him in the semi-autobiographical film.

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Off-screen Banderas says he’s focusing on his first love: theatre.

“I found the perfect way to ruin myself by buying a theatre,” he tells Sangita. “A theatre is something you can actually touch, you can see, you can have young people playing there and giving them what I didn’t have when I started doing theatre in the ’70s.”