Salma Hayek has heaped praise on Antonio Banderas for his Oscar nomination.

Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek

The 53-year-old actress - who has appeared with the star in the likes of 'Desperado', 'Frida' and 'Once Upon a Time in Mexico' over the years - has offered a sweet message of support after her longtime friend and collaborator earned his first ever Academy Award nod.

She wrote on Instagram: "After 20 years of knowing you, it's great to see that you're still thriving, congratulations on your Oscar nomination @antoniobanderas"

Antonio has made it into on the shortlist for best actor in a leading role for his performance as filmmaker Salvador Mallo in Pedro Almodovar's movie 'Pain and Glory'.

He will go head to head with Joaquin Phoenix ('Joker'), Leonardo DiCaprio ('Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'), Adam Driver ('Marriage Story'), and Jonathan Pryce, ('The Two Popes') for the prize.

The 59-year-old star has admitted he didn't expect to land his first ever nomination at the prestigious award ceremony, which will take place next month.

He said: "I was surprised. There is this period of the Oscars becoming the big awards worldwide, not only American, but worldwide. It's logical though that it takes time to adapt, and see what the future is of these important awards. It will be very interesting if it actually covers the whole entire world."

And in a second statement, Antonio expressed his thanks to The Academy for considering him as one of the actors in contention for the gong.

He said: "I would like to thank The Academy for my nomination for Best Actor for my work in 'Pain and Glory'.

"It is an honour to share the nomination with my fellow actors, they did an amazing job. The bar is very high and I'm very thankful to be in the run for the Oscars."