updated 05/13/2010 AT 12:00 PM ET
•originally published 05/16/2010 AT 8:30 PM ET
Most dads sweat it out as their daughters approach dating age. Not Antonio Banderas.
“My daughter, at 13 years old, is way more mature than me,” the Spanish hunk tells PEOPLE of his and wife Melanie Griffith’s youngest child, Stella. Describing the teen as “very selective, she knows exactly what she wants,” Banderas, who turns 50 this August, promises “I’m not going to jump [in] unless there is [something] that’s going to damage her.”
But the loving father also sees the need for Stella to experience both the good and the bad.
“Her heart is going to be broken sometimes, and she has to learn from those things too. It’s called ‘life,’ ” he says. “She has to live that herself.”
For now, the actor and Stella are enjoying some quality time together. “I have one date night with my daughter every week. I take her for dinner by herself and we can talk, spend some time together,” he says. “We just try to be dynamic in our relationship to the family and it’s fun too.”
Banderas spoke to PEOPLE recently at New York’s Instituto Cervantes at the debut of his fragrance line, The Secret, and his accompanying photo exhibition “Secrets on Black,” selections from which are due to be auctioned via Charity Buzz to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
In fact, Banderas spoke with tremendous pride about all of his children. He says he has also been lucky with son Alexander (whose father is Griffith’s second husband, actor Steven Bauer) and daughter Dakota (with Griffith’s former husband Don Johnson) – expressing relief in how easy it has been to keep them grounded growing up in Hollywood.
“All our kids – Alexander, he’s 24 and living in New York, and Dakota, , who is making movies already – they never got caught by that kind of thing of the celebrity stuff,” he says. “Actually, they hated it, as Stella does. I think that’s healthy they don’t want to play that game.”