Salma Hayek On The Wolf Blitzer Report

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Postby admin » Wed Jan 22, 2003 7:45 pm

BLITZER (voice-over): She dominated the small screen in Mexico as a soap opera star but took a risk to cross over to the big screen in the United States.

Cast as a racy Latina bombshell, Salma Hayek's first movie roles left critics unimpressed.

SALMA HAYEK, ACTRESS: Nice try, bastard.

BLITZER: She described her scantily clad appearance in "The Wild, Wild West" as both mortifying and embarrassing.

But this risk taker took another one that put critics on notice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is very good work. You have real talent.

HAYEK: Oh, come on. I'm not looking for your compliments. I want a serious critique.

BLITZER: "Frida," the biography of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, took Salma seven years to bring to the big screen. She starred and produced it.

The sex symbol turned serious actress and serious Hollywood player arrived.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is it real blood?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's the color of blood, Mrs. Johnson.

BLITZER: And now making her directorial debut with the Showtime original movie, "The Maldonado Miracle," which will debut at the Sundance Film Festival later this week before moving to cable later this year.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: And just a little while ago I spoke with Salma Hayek at the Sundance Film Festival.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: Salma Hayek, thanks so much for joining us.

HAYEK: Thank you. BLITZER: Great movie, "Frida." You spent seven years of your life working on this project. Why was it so important to you?

HAYEK: Well, I have been in love with Frida since I was 14 years old, and I discovered her art and was intrigued by her life. And I admire her courage to be different and her courage to be unique and her ability to take adversity and turn it into something really interesting.

BLITZER: As you know, you've received some criticism from your friends in Mexico. Tell our viewers why and how you feel about that.

Basically, can you please both sides of the border, viewers in Mexico, as well as viewers in the United States?

HAYEK: I think you're misinformed. I have not received criticism from my friends in Mexico. I have received criticism from a couple of journalists, but the movie did amazingly well in Mexico.

Actually, the audience loved the film, and it was a two-hour red carpet because the people of Mexico showed up at the premiere and on both sides of the carpet were completely packed with people that came to support the film.

There were some journalists that were critical of my soul, for example or gave different points-of-view on the movie, but there were many other journalists, many, many, that were very, very happy with the film.

BLITZER: I know you're now going to be making your directorial debut in this new movie. Is this the beginning of a new stage in your career, where you're going to be moving behind the camera instead of in front of the camera?

HAYEK: Yes. No, I will be doing both.

Yesterday we premiered the movie for the first time. It was really, really exciting. The response of the audience was amazing. It was incredible.

And I shot it in Utah, so most of my crew and cast was there, so it was a very pleasant experience. I hope to repeat it many times.

BLITZER: As a Latina actress, do you sense that some other Latinos, in general, have to make personal compromises in order to succeed as actors and actresses in the United States?

HAYEK: Can you please define to me what you mean as personal compromise?

BLITZER: I think basically -- because at least at the beginning, you came across as very sexy. Obviously someone who may have projected a kind of image you might not necessarily have felt all that comfortable with.

HAYEK: Well, it was who they perceived me to be when I first came to the United States or what they thought would make the best, you know.

But you say do you think as a Latina? Honestly, I think as a woman, because there are very, very few parts for women, whether you are Latina or American, that are complex, intelligent characters for females.

So of course, if there's only very few and there are so many actresses, most of us have to do compromises at the beginning, you know, until you get to a part where you get to pick from the very few places that there's actually an interesting part, although this year was a lot better than most years.

In my case I didn't even get to that part, I created it for myself.

BLITZER: Salma Hayek, we loved "Frida." We'll look forward to seeing "The Maldonado Miracle." It sounds like it's going to be...

HAYEK: Thank you.

BLITZER: ... a great film. Congratulations to you. Great work.

HAYEK: Thank you very much.

BLITZER: I look forward to seeing you in person one of these days. Thanks very much.

HAYEK: Me, too. Thank you.

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