Salma Hayek: 'Frida' Was 'a Movie Nobody Wanted to Do'

A biopic about iconic Mexican painter Frida Kahlo kicked around Hollywood for years — with the likes of Meryl Streep, Jessica Lange, Laura San Giacomo, and even Madonna approached or attached at various points — before Salma Hayek became involved. Even after securing a lead actress, getting the movie made proved to be a struggle.

“It took me eight years to get that done, and I’m very proud because I practically did it by myself, against all odds, before I was very famous” Hayek told Yahoo Movies about Frida (2002) in our new episode of Role Recall (watch in full below). “It was a movie that nobody wanted to do.”

Hayek, who became a producer on the Julie Taymor-directed project, personally negotiated the rights to Kahlo’s works, approached Alfred Molina backstage at a Broadway play to recruit him to play the painter’s husband, Diego Rivera, and secured distribution for the film after bringing it to Harvey Weinstein and Miramax.

And in addition to delivering a revelatory performance as Kahlo that earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress, Hayek also contributed some of the film’s paintings — much to her own surprise.

“I had never painted, and I was terrible at drawing,” she said. “I [didn’t] know how to hold a brush.”

Hayek now stars in the new comedy, How to Be a Latin Lover, in theaters April 24.

Watch our full Role Recall interview:

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