Antonio Banderas says his former stepdaughter Dakota Johnson will always be "very important to him".

Antonio Banderas and Dakota Johnson

Antonio Banderas and Dakota Johnson

The 'Fifty Shades of Grey' star's mother Melanie Griffith was married to the 'The Legend of Zorro' actor between 1996 and 2015, and they have a daughter, 23-year-old Stella, together.

In November, Dakota - whose biological father is 'Knives Out' star Don Johnson - delivered an emotional tribute to Antonio whilst presenting him with the Hollywood Actor Award for 'Pain and Glory' at the Hollywood Film Awards.

Struggling to hold back the tears, Dakota - who also has three half-brothers and a half-sister from her parents other relationships - said: "He [Antonio] loved my mother, and my siblings and I so big, and so fiercely and so loud, that it would change all of our lives together."

Now, Antonio has opened up about the "emotional" speech she gave in his honour and it completely took him by surprise in such a lovely way.

He said: "It was all a surprise. Totally. I mean, I knew that she was going to give the speech, but I had no idea whatsoever how she was going to do her speech, she didn't tell me anything."

The 59-year-old actor admitted that he cherishes the years they shared as a family.

He added: "I thought and felt that all of those years. But I knew that it was a confirmation that all of those years that Melanie and I spent together, they were years that was not only just about Melanie and me, they were about the family. They were worth it all."

The 'Puss in Boots' star was overwhelmed by Dakota's words, whilst he explained that he and his ex-wife have been able to remain "pretty good friends" because they "understood" just how much the relationship they shared as a couple and with their children meant to them all.

He added to E! News: "And she put that on value that night and it was very emotional for me, because that's life.

"And that's one of the reasons actually why Melanie, we can look at each other's faces today.

"We will go for dinner. I'm going to probably see her tomorrow in Los Angeles, and we are pretty good friends.

"And it's because of the way we understood our relationship, and the relationship that we have with the people that love us and that were surrounding us, especially our kids.

"And I think Dakota took that expressing in a very beautiful way because she was, and she is and she will be very important to me."