Antonio Banderas (search) says doing most of his own stunts in "The Legend of Zorro" (search) left him exhausted by the end of the shoot.

"I did ... as much as I could (to) go around the insurance company," the actor told AP Radio. "Acrobatics, I cannot do. I mean, I can do — but I'd be talking to you now without teeth."

Playing the masked hero isn't new to Banderas. As a child, he and his brother used to take on the character's persona.

"We had this sword made of plastic, and we'd swordfight in the terrace," he revealed. "I have pictures!"

Taking on the role as a boy, however, didn't compare to the experience as an adult.

"You'd have to swordfight for 13 hours, it's six o'clock in the morning, and everybody's sleeping in the corner — and you have to be Zorro, with ten guys coming at you!"

Another challenge was doing scenes with a horse. The stallion, Tornado, was played by nine horses ... and Banderas had to develop relationships with all of them.

"Each one does something totally different; some of them play drunk, others run beautifully," he said. "But if you don't spend time with them, the horse doesn't recognize you — and throws you (off)."

"The Legend of Zorro" opens in theaters this weekend.