Watch Salma Hayek Breaks Down Her Most Iconic Characters | Iconic Characters

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I read the script and there was no snake.

And then right, you know, not right before,

but there was some time, but, you know,

weeks before we started, he said,

Oh, by the way, you’re dancing with a snake.

And I’m like, That’s my greatest fear in life.

[upbeat music]

Desperado and Once Upon a Time in Mexico.

It was not only my first lead in an American movie,

it was my first American movie, actually.

And Robert Rodriguez is super specific,

so the character is created by him.

He wrote it for me, which is, that helps.

And it was, it’s just very easy with him, you know?

He moves very fast and Antonio was really cool and lovely

and fun to work with.

Is that him?

Yes, but you’re not doing anything to him around here

or you’ll get us both killed,

and I don’t wanna die over this, okay?

[Salma sighs]

Stay away from the windows before they see you.

[gun rattles]

I kind of understood that it’s not really a choice,

you have to do your stunts.

And so I was doing all the stunts,

and it was also my first time doing stunts,

and Antonio also did all his stunts,

And so we had a lot of fun with the movie.

We have, I was very proud and scared.

[Salma chuckles]

I remember jumping from one building to another one

and scraping all my, my knees, and was full of blood.

And I said, I don’t care. I’ll do it again.

And it was really painful, but I did it again anyway.

You know, it was my first movie and, and I just,

I wanted to prove myself.

And I wanted to show that I care for the movie

and I was professional,

so no matter what happened, I just would do it.

[gentle music] [Narrator] The most drop-dead gorgeous woman

you’ll ever see.

[wheels squeak] [sensual music] [knives clink]

You have to remember that also,

Robert Rodriguez gets involved with the wardrobe

and the light, he operates the camera,

he practically does your makeup.

I mean, he does.

He was doing, like, everything in every department.

Then, when we were gonna shoot

Once Upon a Time in Mexico,

I had a much bigger role in that one.

Except that there was a threat of,

I think it was the Actors Guild going on strike,

and that we were not gonna be able to work for some time.

So, all these movies started shooting at the same time.

And I had been trying to do Frida for like, eight years,

and exactly at the same time, they were both going.

I said, Robert, I have to do this movie.

He had to rewrite the script really fast

so that I wouldn’t be in it.

And just, I’m in it, of course, but a lot less.

And he said, I’ll trade you.

I’ll do that for you.

Because he had me by contract, he could have said,

No, you don’t do ‘Frida,’ you have to do this movie.

And, I will let you do ‘Frida,’

I will make your part smaller.

I will save it for the end,

but you have to sing the end credit song.

And I was so terrified of that, but we did it.

And, by the way, that I came at the end of Frida,

so tired, and my stunts in Once Upon a Time in Mexico

were a lot more complicated than in Desperado.

And I was so tired, but we did it.

[upbeat drum music]

From Dusk Till Dawn.

They were doing a movie called Four Rooms,

where each one of them,

it was Robert Rodriguez, and Quentin, Allison Anders,

I’m sorry, I don’t remember the fourth director,

but in Robert’s short, the kids are watching television,

and there is like, a stripper on the television.

And I was not in that movie at all.

And one morning I, they, I’m woken up at,

like, five in the morning.

I’m on the phone like, What?

Hello? What happened?

And Robert says, I need you to come right now to the set.

I need you to do me a favor.

I’m like, What, what?

I need you to do something, eh, for the movie

it’s just something quick on the television.

You just have to dance, whatever.

And then, anyway, I get there and it, I have to like,

do like a strip, like a strip dance.

And I’m like, What are you doing this to me?

I’ve never done that before.

I don’t know how to do it.

And he goes, That’s why I want you.

And I’m like, What are you, like,

you couldn’t find a stripper in L.A.?

He goes, No, I auditioned a lot of them,

but because kids are watching it,

there’s something a little bit, you know,

something about it that they look professional.

It makes me feel uncomfortable.

And I said, But I have clothes.

You’re gonna wear your bikini, okay.

So I said, I’ll do it Robert, but you cannot show my face,

[bellhop yells] [TV static] [exotic music] [bellhop yells]

Or something like that.

And so we did it, and I think he didn’t show my face,

but he put me in the credits, which is worse.

But, anyway, Quentin saw it.

And that’s where he got the idea

to write Santanico Pandemonium.

[sultry music]

♪ Watching her strolling in the night ♪

Then, I read the script and there was no snake.

And then right, you know, not right before,

but there was some time, but, you know,

weeks before we started, he said,

Oh, by the way, you’re dancing with a snake.

And I’m like, That’s my greatest fear in life.

And he said, Well, let me do it,

let me know if you’re not capable of overcoming your fear

for a role, because we can always give it to Madonna.

Which, I mean, I’m sure it’s not true,

because if they could have had Madonna, why me?

But I was so afraid to lose the part.

I thought I was gonna be able to convince him,

Just let’s do it like in the script, without the snake.

But, so, I had to learn how to go in trance

so that I could overcome my biggest fear.

So I was in trance when I was doing that dance.

[seductive music] [upbeat drum music]

Dogma.

The thing about that one is I was so impressed of the cast.

Even had Alanis Morissette, which, at the time,

you’re too young, but she was like, the biggest thing

on the face of the earth with, you know, Little Pill.

And we had Ben Affleck and Matt Damon right after the Oscar.

Linda Fiorentino, who also, at that time

was like, the most, you know, revered actress.

She was so talented.

Chris Rock, who again, at the time,

was like, number one comedian.

So just the cast was extraordinary.

And I was so excited to be a part of that group.

Kevin is so intelligent and interesting and fun,

and he wanted me for that role,

so I was just so excited to do it,

but it was nerve wracking a little bit,

because it’s so crazy, the script.

How do you know Metatron?

How does she know Metatron?

This is the last scion.

You’re kidding.

Wow!

And I play a muse.

And I think, what a lovely thing, to play a muse.

He did make me do a strip dance on that one too,

as I was chewing bubblegum.

♪ Through and through ♪

♪ The way you walk ♪

♪ And the way you talk ♪

[upbeat drum music]

Frida.

My connection with Frida and the movie,

it gave me a purpose more than anything.

It was not a movie.

She was my hero, but also it meant so much to me.

All the things I wanted to complain about in the world,

or change the perception, the perceptions in the world,

I could do with this film.

And it was important for me to show

that my country is full of sophistication.

And how at that time, all the great thinkers

around the world would come to Mexico.

It just steps out of the stereotypes

that were used for all Latin American characters

at the time, you know, in the end of the nineties,

because remember, I was trying to get this done

for a very long time.

There are so many things about her, like,

her courage to be unique, also,

like, not only there was the situation of Mexico,

a way to also physically show Mexico,

which was so beautiful.

The colors of Mexico, the light of Mexico,

the art of Mexico, the music of Mexico,

and the sophistication, and cultural richness.

But also, she, like I said,

she had the courage to be unique.

And I thought that that would be inspired,

inspiring beyond the Latin American community,

that her life would be inspiring

for every woman and for every man.

So it was not just one more movie that I wanted, like,

Oh, it will be my lead.

No, for me, I really felt like it was my destiny

to make this, you know, and, and to do it the right way,

to do it the right way.

Senor Rivera.

[calm music]

Diego!

Who are you? What do you want?

I have something important to discuss with you.

I’m working.

I’ll wait.

I for real produced this film.

It’s, like, I practically did it on my own,

because I had no support from Miramax.

And one of the problems why,

the many people that tried to do it before,

one of the problems they ran into

were the rights to the paintings.

So I befriended a woman, Dolores Olmedo,

that actually became, I learned a lot from her.

And she said, You have to woo me.

I ended up wooing her for a couple of years

and we became really good friends.

And she said to me, You had me at hello.

I was always gonna give you this.

I just wanted you close to me.

And I said, You had me at hello too.

I would have stayed close to you.

I had to negotiate a lot of places

that had never allowed anyone to shoot in there before.

I did the cast by myself, all the cast in the United States,

every single name that we found,

they were all friends that did it as a favor,

except, no, they were all friends.

They were all friends.

Some more than others, but they were all friends.

They say, if a girl asks your opinion,

and she’s not a complete fright, you’ll gush all over her.

I need you to tell me one thing, honestly.

Do you actually believe that I should continue to paint?

Yes.

Yes.

Well, the truth is that after we finished it

in the post production, I was so emotionally

and physically exhausted from the journey

that I kind of said, I did it.

And I kind of stepped out for some time.

But when it, when it was gonna come out,

I had to step in again, because first of all, it was,

they were gonna put it just on television.

And so we had to converse, convince Harvey

to put it on the theaters,

but he was saying it was not no good,

was not worth a theater.

And then when it tested high, he was upset.

And finally, he was gonna put it only, at the beginning,

I think only two, two theaters, or only one theater.

I convinced him four more.

And then, little by little, it started adding theaters,

but the success was not immediate.

It was little by little,

and it was very exciting to see how it had legs on its own.

It stood up on its own against all odds,

and how it still stands on its own,

you know, after so many years.

[relaxing Spanish music] [upbeat drum music]

Hitman’s Wife Bodyguard.

This is a sequel to the first film, Hitman’s Bodyguard.

Somebody was working at the time in Millennium,

who is a friend from Frida,

that was working at Miramax from Frida.

He told me, Look, I have this role.

I know you would not normally do it,

but I need you to do this for me,

because I want this character to be unforgettable,

because it’s very important for the film,

because it’s about her, but she’s not in it.

He knows that I really like, and actually,

it’s terrible that I say,

but I’m actually really good at creating characters.

She used to be Irish by the way.

And so I had a lot of freedom, and then Ryan,

who’s married to a really good friend of mine, said,

Come on, let’s do this.

Come on, come on.

You have to do.

So, they shot it in this part in London,

so it was easy for me, ’cause it’s where I live now.

And it was two days and we had a lot of fun.

And Patrick, the director, also was super cool,

and they let me create a character.

And cut to the movie comes out, it’s a big hit,

and turns out the audience really loved the character.

So for the sequel, Patrick came to me and he said,

I want to incorporate Sonia into, you know, the duo,

make it a three-hander instead of two-handed with the guys.

And so we worked on the character together.

He said, Tell me about Sonia.

And I just loved the character.

I could talk about Sonia nonstop.

And so, she’s mad, but there is a,

there’s a logic to her madness.

And I understand it really well.

And I love the way she, she thinks out of the box.

Like, what happens in her head is, like, really unexpected,

but there’s a consistency to it.

And it’s also a woman dealing with menopause, probably,

that is in denial of it.

And so when you have crazy and you add the hormones,

then the result of that equation is Sonia Kincaid

in this new movie.


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