New film tackles themes close to her heart.
Words by Jan Janssen Interview and images courtesy of Viva Press
The popular actress portrays a masseuse in her latest movie Beatriz at Dinner, where she essays a comedic role that spins an interesting yarn while at the same time confronting social and political issues that resonate in real life. She also opens up on what’s life like at home with her family and animals.
Park City, Utah – Anyone who has met Salma Hayek will doubtless be happy for whatever success she has enjoyed in life since she is one of the most pleasant, upbeat, and good-natured individuals you will ever meet. (Not to mention her disarming neon smile and fabulous figure!)
But it was much more than beauty and talent that earned Hayek her place in the film world. She needed every ounce of her prodigious sense of determination to gain acceptance in an industry that had very few parts for Hispanics, let alone someone with a thick Mexican accent.
At the age of 20, she abandoned her comfortable life as a soap opera star in her native Mexico and moved to L.A. in the hope that she could one day become a Hollywood movie star. That gamble paid off, and films like From Dusk Till Dawn, Wild Wild West, Frida, and Savages have left an indelible impression on audiences.
Hayek’s new movie, Beatriz At Dinner, directed by Miguel Arteta (Youth in Revolt) earned rave reviews upon its premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and critics were almost unanimous in their praise for her performance.
The comedy follows Hayek’s holistic health practitioner and massage therapist character who attends a wealthy client’s dinner party only to find herself debating social and political issues with a Trump-like billionaire business mogul played by John Lithgow.
“I couldn’t believe my luck when this project came to me and of course the timing is unbelievable,” Hayek says. “It’s rare that you find a movie that says something important about social issues and is also so well-written.
“I also liked the fact that for the first time in my career the director (Miguel Arteta) was going to deliberately film me in bad light and without make-up. It felt liberating not to play a sexy character but a very real woman and great character who speaks her mind.”
The film also carries with it a double dose of irony for Hayek. She has voiced her fierce opposition to the real Donald Trump and his policies, especially those regarding Mexican immigration and his proposed border wall. She also happens to be married to a billionaire herself, albeit a kinder, gentler, and more enlightened one in François-Henri Pinault, CEO of Kering, the Paris-based luxury goods empire that owns various brands such as Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, and Balenciaga.
The 50-year-old Hayek lives mainly in London with Pinault and their 9-year-old daughter Valentina. Hayek is also stepmom to Pinault’s three older children from his previous marriage. They also have homes in Paris and L.A. while Salma maintains an animal ranch in the state of Washington.
In addition to Beatrice at Dinner, Hayek will be seen later this year in The Hitman’s Bodyguard opposite Ryan Reynolds, Gary Oldman, and Samuel L. Jackson. Click Here for more information