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Chile Miner Happy To Be Played By Banderas In Film

By LUIS ANDRES HENAO

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) â¿¿ Antonio Banderas will star in a movie as one of the 33 Chilean miners trapped deep underground for more than two months in 2010, and the charismatic survivor he's playing couldn't be happier.

Mike Medavoy, producer of "The 33," announced on Sunday at the Cannes Film Festival that Banderas will play Mario Sepulveda, who known as "Super Mario" became the public face of the miners.

The film will dramatize the cave-in at a mine in Chile's Atacama desert and the globally televised rescue of the miners that mesmerized millions worldwide.

Sepulveda told the Associated Press on Monday that he's thrilled because he's a fan of the Spanish actor and that he hopes the movie will remind people how life is the most valuable gift.

"I'm very excited and full of anxiety. All of my mates are looking forward to this big production," Sepulveda said. "Banderas is very charismatic. I like him a lot and I think this movie is going to make him even more famous than he already is."

Even in their despair, Sepulveda said, "peace, love, solidarity and teamwork" were shared by the miners who survived entrapment longer than anyone else before.

"There are people who don't realize the value of what they have next to them. And after those 69 days we know that there's nothing as important as being alive, being healthy and enjoying the people you love while you're alive," he said.

The miners said it felt like an earthquake when the shaft caved in above them on Aug. 5, 2010, filling the lower corridors of the copper and gold mine with suffocating dust. Hours passed before they could even begin to see a few steps in front of them. Above them tons of rock shifted constantly, threatening to bury them forever.

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