Madonna has kept no secrets about her long-standing crush on Antonio Banderas, but the Spanish actor had no idea she was majorly pining for him until she called him up and told him herself.
During a new interview with Banderas on SiriusXM's "The Jess Cagle Show," Cagle brought up Madonna's 1991 docufiction film, "Madonna: Truth or Dare," during which the pop star privately obsesses over Banderas: "Is that man beautiful or what?" she asks her entourage. "My God. There must be something wrong with him. No one is that perfect."
In the footage filmed 30 years ago, cameras followed Madonna as she met Banderas at a party, where she hoped to "make Antonio fall madly in love with me." Unfortunately for her, "I finally get to meet him and he's married," she says mournfully as the cameras show his then-wife, Ana Leza.
Although Madonna's inner circle knew she was crushing, Banderas had no idea that she was genuinely flirting with him, nor did he know he would be shown in the film at all — until she called him up.
"She called me one morning," Banderas recalled. "I thought someone was just making a joke at me. Because I picked up my phone in my hotel room and it was Madonna. I couldn't believe it."
The reason for the call? She wanted to give Banderas a heads-up about the now-completed film. "She said, 'Listen, I want to show you this documentary that you are in,'" he continued. "And I said, 'What? What documentary? What are you talking about?'"
Antonio Banderas in his younger years
Antonio Banderas in his younger years
UNITED STATES - MARCH 18: Antonio Banderas (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images)
Spanish actress Carmen Maura at piano w. actor friend Antonio Banderas in her apartment. (Photo by Terry Smith/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images)
Scene of passion between the American actress Winona Ryder as Blanca Trueba and the Spanish actor Antonio Banderas as Petro Tercero Garcìa from Bille August's production of Chilean writer Isabel Allende's The House of the Spirits. Portugal, 1993. (Photo by Mondadori via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - OCTOBER 12: Actor Antonio Banderas and wife Ana Leza attend the "Reservoir Dogs" New York City Premiere on October 12, 1992 at the Loews 19th Street Theatre in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
WESTWOOD, CA- FEBRUARY 26: Actress Cathy Moriarty and actor Antonio Banderas attend "The Mambo Kings" Westwood Premiere on February 26, 1992 at the Mann Bruin Theatre in Westwood, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
CENTURY CITY, CA - DECEMBER 7: Actor Antonio Banderas attends the Fifth Annual Fire & Ice Ball to Benefit the Revlon/UCLA Women's Cancer Research Program on December 7, 1994 at 20th Century Fox Studios in Century City, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
Antonio Banderas and Wife Ana Leza during "Interview With A Vampire" Los Angeles Premiere at Manns Village Theater in Westwood, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
(Original Caption) Arrival of Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith. (Photo by Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - AUGUST 24: Actor Antonio Banderas attends the "Desperado" New York City Premiere on August 24, 1995 at Sony Theatre 19th Street in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
PARIS FILM PREMIERE:ALAN PARKER'S 'EVITA' (Photo by Eric Robert/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 19: London, Antonio Banderas & Melanie Griffith, Attend The "Evita" Movie Premiere, At The Empire Leicester Square (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images)
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Madonna offered to remove the scenes if they bothered him, but he said he didn't mind. (Ultimately, as Cagle pointed out, the exposure is what introduced much of America to Banderas in the first place.)
The one-sided attraction was still going strong, however, even after Banderas split from his first wife and then married Melanie Griffith. The two wed in 1996, the same year that he was cast to co-star alongside Madonna in "Evita." Several years later, Griffith would allege that Madonna had banned her from the film's set because she was still holding a candle for Banderas, even though he was married with a pregnant wife.
"Madonna was after him publicly," Griffith told Larry King in 2002. "I was pregnant when he was doing 'Evita.' ... So the press made a big thing about how Melanie's watching over Antonio and she won't leave him alone with Madonna. I was hurt because I was banned from the set."
That version of events is consistent with Madonna's, who told Howard Stern in 2015 that she'd never slept with Banderas: "I wish. I had a big crush on him [but] he was with Melanie Griffith. She never left his side."
Banderas and Griffith divorced in 2015 but remain on a good terms. In 2018 Banderas firmly declared, "I will love that woman until the day I die."
RELATED: See photos of Antonio Banderas with Melanie Griffith
Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas together
Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas together
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 18: Actors Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas attend the 'Black Nativity' premiere at The Apollo Theater on November 18, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 18: (L-R) Actor Antonio Banderas and actress Melanie Griffith attend the after party for the 'Black Nativity' premiere at The Red Rooster on November 18, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - NOVEMBER 17: Actors Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith are seen on the grid before the United States Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas on November 17, 2013 in Austin, United States. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
MARBELLA, SPAIN - AUGUST 10: Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith attend the 4rd annual Starlite Charity Gala on August 10, 2013 in Marbella, Spain. (Photo by Europa Press/Europa Press via Getty Images)
MALAGA, SPAIN - MARCH 26: Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith attend procession during the Holy Week on March 26, 2013 in Malaga, Spain. (Photo by Europa Press/Europa Press via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 20: Actors Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith attend Children's Hospital Los Angeles' Gala Noche de Ninos honoring The Walt Disney Company, Heidi Klum and Pau Gasol at L.A. Live Event Deck on October 20, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mark Sullivan/WireImage)
MARBELLA, SPAIN - AUGUST 04: Actors Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas attend the 3rd annual Starlite Charity Gala on August 4, 2012 in Marbella, Spain. (Photo by Daniel Perez Garcia-Santos/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas arrives at the 84th Annual Academy Awards at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on February 26, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 19: Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas arrives to Goya Cinema Awards 2012 ceremony, at the Palacio Municipal de Congresos on February 19, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 05: Actor Antonio Banderas and actress Melanie Griffith arrive at the Los Angeles Premiere 'Haywire' at Directors Guild Of America on January 5, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 15: Actors Antonio Banderas adn Melanie Griffith arrive at the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 15, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
ASPEN, CO - DECEMBER 30: Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas attend the Ajax Cup co-sponsored by Aspen Peak magazine at Silver Circle Ice Rink on December 30, 2011 in Aspen, Colorado. (Photo by Leigh Vogel/WireImage)
SANTA MONICA, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas
attend the 2011 NCR ALMA Awards at Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on September 10, 2011 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 11: Actor Antonio Banderas and actress Melanie Griffith arrive at 'The Skin I Live In' Premiere at the Princess of Wales Theatre on September 11, 2011 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Clinton Gilders/FilmMagic)
MIAMI, FL - JULY 21: (EXCLUSIVE and Premium Rates Apply) (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas backstage at Univisions 8th Annual Premios Juventud Awards at Bank United Center on July 21, 2011 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by John Parra/WireImage)
CANNES-May 11: Actress Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas attend the 'Midnight In Paris' Premiere at the Palais des Festivals during the 64th Cannes Film Festival May 11, 2011 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 11: Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas attend the Opening Ceremony and 'Midnight In Paris' Premiere at the Palais des Festivals during the 64th Cannes Film Festival on May 11, 2011 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Venturelli/WireImage)
MALAGA, SPAIN - APRIL 26: (SPAIN, FRANCE, GERMANY AND ENGLAND OUT) Actors Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith pose for photos at Hotel Larios on AprilÃÂ§ 26, 2011 in Malaga, Spain. (Photo by Contacto/LatinContent/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 12: Melanie Griffith (L) and Antonio Banderas arrive at the Primary Wave Music Pre Grammy Party at SLS Hotel on February 12, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/WireImage)
MARBELLA, SPAIN - AUGUST 07: Spanish actor Antonio Banderas and American actress melanie Griffith attends Starlite gala at Padierna Hotel on August 7, 2010 in Marbella, Spain. (Photo by Handout/Starlite Gala Organizers)
NEW YORK - JUNE 13: Actors Melanie Griffith (L) and husband Antonio Banderas attend the 64th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 13, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/FilmMagic)
Actors Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas arrive at the premiere of 'Shrek Forever After' held at Gibson Amphitheatre, Universal City. (Photo by Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images)