Salma Hayek was turned down for starring roles in two big films in the early Nineties when she was in her twenties because she is Mexican.
The 54-year-old star told Variety she was told she had the talent but the movie studio did not want her as the lead because of her race.
‘Afterwards the directors told me that I was the best audition and that I was better than who they cast and that they regretted it. But at the time, they knew the studios wouldn’t have gone for a Mexican as the lead,’ said the talent who has starring roles in two movies this year: The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard and The Eternals.
Rejected: Salma Hayek was turned down for two comedies in the early Nineties because she was Mexican. The 54-year-old star told Variety she was told after her auditions she did an excellent job but the movie studio did not want her. Seen in 1995
Better roles at 54: The star who has starring roles in two movies this year: The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard and The Eternals. Seen earlier this year on social media
Salma was already famous in her home country before she made the move to Hollywood, but she knew it was going to be a big jump to make it in the US film industry.
She added: ‘If you are a woman and you are in a movie that is very successful and they say you are their favorite character, they will still give all credits of the box office to the guy.
‘They don’t count who you’re bringing into the theatres. In my case, I was already a very big star in my country. I was bringing the Latino market into the theatres. I know some of the studios knew that. But they didn’t want to accept the value of the Latino market at the time.’
In the past decade she has been showered with impressive offers.
Salma is appearing in the new Marvel movie, Eternals with Angelina Jolie, and she admits she did not think she could star in a film for the studio due to her age.
One of her first big hits: The siren with Antonio Banderas in the 1995 film Desperado
Speaking about her new role, she told Variety: ‘It never crossed my mind to be in a Marvel movie. I guess that I thought that boat had sailed, and it was an absolute shock.’
Hayek on the cover story for the latest issue of Variety as she detailed her near-fatal fight against COVID-19
This comes after Hayek revealed her secret battle with COVID-19 early on in the pandemic which was near fatal.
The actress detailed her fight against the coronavirus.
The star said that at one point she was even put on oxygen and spent about seven weeks isolated in a room of her house.
She told the publication: ‘My doctor begged me to go to the hospital because it was so bad.
‘I said, “No, thank you. I’d rather die at home.”‘
Hayek lives in London with her husband, Kering CEO François Henri Pinault, and their 13-year-old daughter Valentina.
Though the harshest effects of the infectious disease are behind her, she has experienced some long-term effects including that she still feels fatigued.
New movie: The next project she will star in is the Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard with Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L Jackson
Should be a smash hit: Hayek seen here in a teaser for The Eternals from Marvel
Due to that lack of energy, she said that her first job – which is House Of Gucci with Adam Driver and Lady Gaga – after the secret battle was a proper amount of work for her.
‘It was not a lot of time,’ Hayek said of the shoot. ‘I had started doing Zooms at one point, but I could only do so many because I would get so tired.’
Back in November, Hayek hilariously posted a video montage of her nose being swabbed for COVID-19 tests.
Clearly not a fan of the procedure, the Frida star can be seen wincing as the swab is pushed far up into her nasal cavity, again and again.
The Mexican born beauty captioned the clip: ‘I’ve had it. Ya estoy harta. J’en ai marre. #coronavaccine #corona’.
Better than ever: She has stayed in shape and is working often; seen on vacation this year
Hayek also discussed the aftermath of writing an essay for The New York Times in 2017 about the abuse she faced from Harvey Weinstein while making her 2002 film Frida, for which she earned an Oscar nomination.
At the time, Hayek alleged in the piece that he propositioned her to take a shower with him, also offering her oral sex.
As she mentioned earlier in the interview that she did not like to talk about her own suffering she said the essay writing experience was ‘Excruciating! That’s why it took me so long. It was so hard because I chose not to be a victim even though I was a victim.
In Paris with her love: Hayek and CEO of Kering Group, François Henri Pinault attend the Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection, Modern Art Foundation on Wednesday
‘I had to convince myself that I’m a fighter and above all else, a survivor. When all this happened with the Harvey story, I didn’t know that it happened to so many women. I went into such a depression for months. It really took an army of women to make me see I was true survivor, and a true fighter.
‘When I wrote it, I didn’t even know if I was really going to show it to anyone. I kept saying, ‘Who wants to hear my story? Why am I giving myself self-importance?’ They had been asking me for it from the beginning, but I put it down on paper just for me.’
She went on to say that the support of her husband Pinault helped her get through he depression.
Hayek explained: ‘Although he was shocked that I didn’t tell him the details of what I had gone through, and he was upset that I didn’t tell him and that we were around [Weinstein], he was amazing. A lot of people were upset with me.
‘Friends were upset with me that I didn’t tell them what really happened. Then I thought, I have to do it. Afterwards, a lot of people wrote to me. A lot from the industry said, ‘This happened to me.”
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard which is set for release on June 16. The Marvel film, Eternals, is set for release on November 5.