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The first Mexican-American nominated for the Best Actress Oscar, she herself is a “great family”.

In this cover story interview, she conversed with another beauty who speaks Spanish—Penélope Cruz.

During the interview, the two also shared their experience of getting to know each other. Long before Cruz entered Hollywood, Hayek had already seen many movies starring her and expressed her desire to collaborate with her during media interviews. After that, they established contact.

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When they met, Hayek had already been in Hollywood, the United States, for several years after coming from Mexico, and her career was on the rise. Therefore, she also suggested that Cruz could consider developing in Hollywood. After Cruz arrived in Los Angeles, Hayek even picked her up directly from the airport to stay at her own home. The two hit it off immediately, and this friendship has lasted for more than 20 years.

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In 2006, they fulfilled their wish to collaborate by co-starring in a comedy film titled “Bandidas,” produced and written by Luc Besson. In the film, they formed a “bandit duo,” telling a story of fighting against brutal law enforcers. The two charming beauties together on screen were truly pleasing to the eye.

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Returning to Salma Hayek herself, compared to many people who know her as the “Kering boss’s wife,” the charm of this Mexican beauty as an actress is actually much more fascinating than this so-called title.

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Not long ago, during Madonna’s tour in Mexico City, Hayek made a surprise appearance on stage to support her, and her style was highly recognizable as “Frida” – from her representative work “Frida,” where she played the famous Mexican painter Frida Kahlo.

Most fans may have first learned about this Mexican actress through the movie “Frida,” which also earned her nominations for Best Actress at prestigious awards such as the Oscars, Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and BAFTA.

Salma Hayek was born in 1966 into a wealthy family in Mexico. Her father, Sami Hayek Domínguez, owned an industrial equipment company and was also an executive at a Mexican oil company. Her mother, Diana Jiménez Medina, was an opera singer and talent scout.

During her high school years, she studied in the United States for two years and graduated at the age of 15. She then entered one of Mexico’s best universities, the Universidad Iberoamericana, to study International Relations.

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Entering the acting profession was entirely out of Hayek’s own passion. After all, with a wealthy family background and academic achievements, she could have comfortably stayed at home as a second-generation rich, instead of coming to a foreign country to pursue her career alone.

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During her university years, she realized her passion for movies and conceived the idea of trying her hand at acting. At the age of 18, she decided to drop out of school to pursue a career in acting. At that time, her family did not support her, and her friends thought she was “crazy,” because in Mexico at that time, the film industry was declining and there was no market.

Her father originally thought she was just playing around and expected her to return to school after a year or two, but he didn’t expect that she would persist for decades.

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With her unforgettable appearance and temperament, Hayek’s start in the entertainment industry was incredibly smooth. In her first year, she won the Best Newcomer Actress award at the Mexican Novela Television Awards. In her second year, she played the lead role in the TV series “Teresa,” and she became a well-known star in Mexico.

However, Hayek was not satisfied with just making a name for herself in Mexico; her goal was the broader stage of Hollywood.

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In 1991, after finishing the filming of “Teresa,” despite her still not fluent English, she resolutely moved to Los Angeles and enrolled herself in language courses to learn English. However, although she overcame the language barrier, the real difficulties were far more challenging than imagined.

It was almost the most severe period of racial discrimination in Hollywood. For American directors and producers, the idea of a Mexican woman playing the lead role in a movie was “unthinkable.” There were almost no roles for Latin women in both film and television scripts.

In interviews, she further stated that at that time, some people would even tell her directly, “Your accent will remind moviegoers of a ‘housekeeper.'”

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In the three years that followed, she only landed a few supporting roles, but this did not deter her determination to continue her pursuit in Hollywood.

It wasn’t until 1995 that she starred in the drama “Desperado,” a film that depicted the life of the Mexican immigrant class and was nominated for the main competition at the Berlin Film Festival that year, receiving a special mention award. Hayek was personally nominated for Best Actress at the Mexican Ariel Awards for her outstanding performance. This work helped to establish a certain level of international recognition for her.

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In the following two years, she had breakthrough works in Hollywood: In 1995, she collaborated with Antonio Banderas in the action film “Desperado” full of Latin flavor, where her performance was fiery and eye-catching; In 1996’s “From Dusk Till Dawn,” her snake dance became the highlight of the entire film. By this point, she could be considered one of the best actors in Hollywood at interpreting Latin style.

In 1999, Hayek established her own film and television production company, Ventanarosa, which mainly focuses on producing films with Mexican or Latin American backgrounds.

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Ventanarosa, which means “pink window” in Spanish, also has a deeper meaning as Hayek wants to provide more opportunities for Latin women who aspire to enter the entertainment industry. “Because I have been rained on, I always want to hold an umbrella for others,” this sentence has a more concrete presentation.

She herself unlocked the identity of a producer, and the first film she produced, “No One Writes to the Colonel,” was nominated for the main competition at Cannes.

“Frida” is also a work that she participated in as a producer. In fact, since 1997, she has had the idea of bringing the story of the legendary painter Frida Kahlo to the screen. In her mind, Frida is not only her muse but also the spiritual support for her determination to pursue a career as an actor.

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In order to perfectly present this work, she has made a lot of efforts behind the scenes, looking for investment and distribution. “My mission is to depict the life of this extraordinary artist and to showcase my homeland, Mexico, in a way that fights against stereotypes,” she said when talking about her original intention of taking on this role.

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She brought Frida’s genius and pain to life with remarkable depth, and the film “Frida” was nominated for six Academy Awards, ultimately winning for Best Original Score and Best Makeup. She herself was nominated for Best Actress, becoming the first Mexican actress to be nominated for an Oscar.

In addition to this, some stories that happened during the production process, she only revealed to the public many years later.

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In 2017, Hayek published a lengthy article in The New York Times, accusing Harvey Weinstein (the owner of the film distribution company Miramax Films) of harassment and setting numerous obstacles for her during the filming process. Hayek once broke down while filming, but in order to ensure the smooth progress of the work she had invested so much effort in, she had no choice but to endure it.

Her selection as a producer is also very accurate. Another American TV series she produced, “Ugly Betty,” is adapted from the Colombian TV series “Yo Soy Betty La Fea.” After being broadcast on ABC, the series became an instant hit and swept a number of awards.

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Actress America Ferrera won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, as well as two Golden Globe Awards for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy and Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy.

In the following years, while maintaining her acting career, she also excelled as a producer and continued to make history. In the 2021 Marvel film “Eternals,” she became the first Arab actress to play a leading role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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In 2007, Hayek entered into marriage and later unlocked the role of a mother. When everyone thought Hayek would gradually fade from the screen and return to family life, her screen presence did not decrease.

What’s more commendable is that in addition to her thriving career, she also maintains a very harmonious family relationship. On her social media, one can often see her sharing loving moments with her husband and children.

(Article source: VOGUE)

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