Antonio Banderas in ‘Pain and Glory’

Spanish hunk and actor Antonio Banderas has made a startling revelation: he once had his life saved by a drag queen after a motor accident.

Banderas made the admission while promoting his new film Pain and Glory from gay director Pedro Almodovar. According to the actor, he suffered a major accident while riding a motorcycle in 1976. “The front wheel of my motorbike went into a ditch and, boom! I hit a car and my head hit the tank,” he recalled to The Independent.

Related: Pedro’s Spain: 8 of Almodóvar’s Most Iconic Film Locations

As Banderas lay bleeding and dazed in the ditch, he looked up to see a drag queen–dressed in a full on gown and wig–pull off the road. She helped him to her car and drove him to a nearby hospital where doctors tended to his wounds and saved his life.

Banderas recalled the story as part of expressing his affinity and comfort in playing gay characters–something which he has done for most of his long career, even at a time when that could have meant professional death for an actor. Pain and Glory finds him playing a gay character again, a role based his close friend and frequent collaborator Almodovar.

“[I] always tried to be very respectful to the gay community,” Banderas says of playing gay roles. “I’m an actor. I just play the character and try to believe them completely when I’m doing them. I try not to perform them; I try to live them. But, you know, I’m not Zorro, either. I have never been heroic. I run away!”

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