Role Recall: Salma Hayek Looks Back on 'Desperado', 'Wild Wild West', 'Sausage Party' and More
Salma Hayek looks back on "Desperado," "Wild Wild West," "Sausage Party" and more.
SALMA HAYEK: The part came, he gave me the script way-- there goes my ring.
I remember that I auditioned for every single part because the director Allison Anders really wanted me. I was last runner up, you know, like for one of the leads, and it was between the two of us. And at the end, she said, I'm not going to give it to you, because you just don't fit in the rest of the group. There's something about your energy that doesn't fit, but you have to-- do you mind just being an extra, and I'll give you a line so you can get your SAG?
Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!
Little by little, I came up with things, and I added things, and at the end, I was the poster. I was still a small role but I was the poster of the film. And that's what I remember, she really gave me a shot and that's how I got my SAG.
First of all, he saw me on an interview in Spain where they were making fun of me for being an extra when I was a huge star. And he saw this interview and he said, OK, that's my girl.
- No, I can't play anymore.
- Look at my hands. I can't.
- OK, we can improvise. I'll help you.
SALMA HAYEK: But when the movie was ready, the studio didn't want me because I was an unknown, so I had to do a screen test with many of the girls and then it was the studio who said, oh my god, this is the girl.
And there was always so much blood everywhere. I remember the producer, I thought he was smoking and I said, I do not think you should be smoking on the set, because it's like a bad example, it's not good. And he said, are you kidding me? With all the blood and the violence that we do here every day, you're really offended with my cigarette? And I thought that was brilliant.
Quentin told me, oh, by the way, you're dancing with the snake, and I said, I can't, I can't. It's my greatest fear. And he said, well, Madonna will do it, I already talked to her, and she's willing to dance with the snake.
And it was good because I had to overcome my greatest fear, I had to go in trance for the dance, and it was improvised. The dancers improvise, there was no choreographer, nothing, because you cannot choreograph the snake, we don't know what she's going to do.
- I have a pain.
SALMA HAYEK: Oh, I hate horror films and I don't watch them. And I was always, even From Dusk Till Dawn, I was afraid to look at the special effects stuff. I thought it would freak me out, and it was tough for me to do it because of it. I don't understand it very well, it's a genre that I just don't get into.
- You do have a very iconic death scene in that film. Were you able to watch yourself?
SALMA HAYEK: I've never watched it, I don't even remember it. Somebody kills me, I know. I remember it was awful.
- Chip, I know you'd never let him take me back. I've seen the shoot.
SALMA HAYEK: Please don't laugh at me. They had such a huge budget. The meals were like, the best buffets that you can possibly imagine. I mean, they had lobster for lunch sometimes. It was a completely different era of Hollywood because they don't have those kinds of budgets so easily anymore.
- Well, good night and thank you for saving me.
- Good night, ma'am.
- I really got along with my two co-stars, and with the director. With Barry, he made me laugh. He tried to convince me the whole movie to smell his left ear, who he claims it smelled like a specific cheese but the other one didn't.
And I thought it was the most bizarre thing, just have to rub it, and I said I would not do that. And then at the end of the movie, it's over, you have to do it, and I did it and it was disgusting. Like he's been begging for six months, because the movie took six months to make.
- He's not thinking of his well-being, he's thinking of hers.
- What are you talking about?
- I'm talking about somebody willing to sacrifice a little of their own pleasure rather than go on hurting the woman who loves him.
SALMA HAYEK: It took me eight years to get that done, and I'm very proud because I practically did it by myself against all odds when I was not very famous. A movie that nobody wanted to do.
- Frida Kahlo was one of the most original women of her time.
- I didn't come here for fun or to flirt. If I'm not good enough, I have to do something else to help my parents.
SALMA HAYEK: I had a very specific take on it visually, and how I wanted the structure and the movie to be. I didn't want it to be like, a typical biopic. I want to have a different kind of artistic value visually, because she was an artist. And it was so hard to get it done because it was unusual, and she was unusual, and nobody knew who she was.
- She's much better than me, you'll see.
- You even did some painting for the film. Can you talk about that?
SALMA HAYEK: Yes, it was the weirdest thing, because I've never painted. I'm terrible at drawing. And right before we started shooting, I think, oh my god, I don't know how to hold a brush. I am going to bring somebody to teach me how to hold it and to fake it, how you move so that it looks like I've been doing it for a long time.
So I brought somebody and she goes, pick up the brush and paint. I go, what? I can't paint. And she goes, let's try to do her face. I said, I can't paint, it's going to be a dog. It doesn't matter.
And I remember I started and she sat there quietly six, seven hours and I didn't realize that time passed. All of a sudden, I saw her face. And she said, you can paint.
- She's Kitty Softpaws.
- I'll steal you blind and you'll never even know I was there.
- She is a bad kitty.
SALMA HAYEK: That character of the cat of Antonio, he was just so amazing, this cat, and he was so Antonio.
- All that I need are the boots.
SALMA HAYEK: He was just so lovable, the eyes. So I thought he was going to do well.
- That's a lot of heel for a guy, don't you think?
SALMA HAYEK: The whole thing was so bizarre, because Antonio and I really struggle because of our accents, nobody wanted to hire us because of our accents. And in this case they hired us because of our voice over accents.
- Sweet boy. I must admit they do sometimes have urges, impure thoughts. We all do.
SALMA HAYEK: I really almost didn't do it. I said, I don't know that I can say these things, like my part was much smaller. I said, OK, well it's just-- everybody else is saying worse things, and it's just so small, it's just a little. I'll do it. And then once I was on it and I started improvising. And it turns out I was coming on up with the naughtiest, the worst ones.
- Son of a bitch!
- Yeah, what she said!
- Aye, mi gordita, let's not start eating each other's boxes just yet.
SALMA HAYEK: I didn't know I had it in me, and it started growing.
- I have feelings for you I can't deny. Crotch feelings.
- Sorry, but I'm not a soft taco.
SALMA HAYEK: And I ended up being one of the main characters in the film, go figure.