By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated July 15, 2003 01:00 AM

In Broadway’s Tony-winning musical revival of “Nine,” Antonio Banderas gets his feet wet with the live production — the Venice set floods every night, allowing him to splash about shoeless.

But in the upcoming HBO movie “And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself,” about the Mexican Revolution’s hero, the Spanish-born leading man says he got to tread on more familiar territory: Mexico.

“I’ve done six movies in Mexico, and I suppose that I’m going to go back to Mexico more because now we are planning to do a sequel for ‘Zorro,'” Banderas, 42, told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour, according to the Associated Press.

“I feel very comfortable there, but I never actually portrayed a character like this, who’s got a historic link with the place. I felt a certain responsibility because I know that Pancho Villa awakens very much different feelings in the Mexican population, and outside of Mexico, too,” he said.

The movie, in which pioneering Hollywood legends such as director D.W. Griffith figure into Villa’s story, will air Sept. 7. (HBO, like PEOPLE, is part of AOL Time Warner.)

“I tried to approach the Mexican accent not only when I speak Spanish in the movie, but also when I’m speaking in English,” said the actor.

Banderas, who will also soon be seen in “Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over,” said he will end his run in “Nine” come early October, and will begin filming the sequel to 1998’s “The Mask of Zorro” in February.