Conan: All right, everybody, we're back. My first guest is an academy award- nominated actress. Her latest film, "ask the dust," opens tomorrow. Please welcome the lovely salma hayek.
[ Cheers and applause ] Wow. Thank you for being here.
Salma: Thank you for inviting me.
Conan: You look lovely. I have to say, I was watching, you know, the oscar preshow the other day, and you -- they cut to a shot of you, and I jumped out of my chair you looked so gorgeous. Honestly. We have a -- I think we have a photo of you. Absolutely beautiful.
[ Applause ]
Salma: I would have loved to have seen the photo of you jumping out of your chair.
Conan: Really? It's really not as exciting as that photo. It's me going, "ah!"
[ Laughter ] It's truly not a good photo. You look very, very lovely. And did you spend a lot of time picking that dress? 'Cause people talk about how their oscar dress, they slave over it, they worry about it, they go to 50,000 stores.
Salma: Oh, well, it is special, but because I was promoting something else overseas.
Salma: And then I barely had time. I was out of town, so --
Salma: And then I was promoting "ask the dust."
Salma: So I only had, like, a full day.
Conan: I think that's better, 'cause I think a lot of these people overthink it. And then they -- you know, they have, like, three months to think of "what will my oscar dress be?" And then they show up, and they're wrapped in, like, toilet paper.
[ Laughter ] And they're wearing goggles, and they look like freaks.
Salma: But you know, there is a theory that the earlier you start the process, the better dresses that you get. By the time, you know, at the end --
Salma: You get the leftovers or something.
Salma: There is that theory. But --
Conan: Well, that wasn't from sears, I don't think.
[ Laughter ] That was -- okay. Now, you -- for this movie that you're promoting now, "ask the dust," you gained weight for this role.
Conan: And I have to say, you're an amazing advertisement for gaining weight, 'cause you look fantastic.
Salma: I'm glad. There's too many skinny now.
Conan: I think there are, yeah. Too many -- obviously, too many women today are worried about being thin. And how much weight did you gain for the role?
Salma: I don't know, about 12 pounds.
Conan: Right, right.
Salma: I'm not -- it's just because I had done a movie where I was pretty slim and fit.
Salma: And this was a waitress that -- it takes place in 1930s. And I didn't have to gain the weight, but I envisioned that, you know, she had a little bit more meat around the bones.
[ Laughter ]
Conan: Right. Well, I think that's a good point.
Conan: Because sometimes, people make these period pieces, and you can tell that they've been using the abdomenizer, and they've been doing pilates.
Conan: And you know, they're playing someone in, like, 1612. And you're like, "what are you doing? It doesn't look right."
Salma: I thought there was something soft and vulnerable about being a little bit more rounded as a woman.
Salma: And it was more appropriate for the time. It was also a lot of time, because then you just -- I ate everything I ate, but more.
[ Laughter ] That's nice. I've always envied actors who need to gain weight for a role. I've always thought that would be the most fun thing in the world to ostensibly get a job where they say, "you've got to gain 15 pounds, 20 pounds. I don't care how you do it." Then you can go and just eat whatever you want.
Salma: But ten pounds is not that hard to get.
Salma: It's like, when somebody gets 30 pounds, you know?
Conan: Right, right. That's really fun.
[ Laughter ] That's just you fill your room with caramel corn and eat your way out.
[ Laughter ] What were you -- what were you eating specifically to get -- ? Like what's the best thing -- what did you enjoy most about gaining the weight? What was the most fun thing to eat a lot of?
Salma: I didn't become obsessed with it.
Salma: I just gave myself permission to indulge.
Salma: For a while, you know, in food?
Conan: That's great.
Salma: There was -- we shot this in capetown, south africa.
Salma: And there was a place called royale that has the best hamburgers in the world. Better than in america.
Conan: Now, wait a minute.
[ Laughter ] Don't mess with america and our hamburgers.
[ Laughter ]
Salma: I'm sorry. Somebody beat you to it.
Conan: Well, we'll see. I'll have to fly there tonight and sample this hamburger.
Salma: You should. And they have this fantastic milkshake, and they had one with chocolate and milk -- no, chocolate and mint.
Conan: I was gonna say, I think we got that beat, anyway.
[ Applause ] I'm being an ass, yeah. Chocolate and mint.
Salma: Chocolate and mint.
Conan: Wow, that sounds good.
Salma: Milkshake. Delicious.
Conan: Yeah, yeah. This sounds like good stuff.
Conan: Now, I want to ask you, there's a scene that a lot of people are talking about. It's a nude scene. And people are accustomed to seeing nude scenes in films, but this one's very different. It's a nude scene, you, colin farrell, both of you naked, and you're in the ocean. And I'm told, this was --
Salma: And outside on the ocean.
Conan: Yeah, yeah, exactly. And this was a -- first of all, were you nervous doing that scene? Were you, you know, with colin farrell?
Salma: No, I was not nervous about colin. I was nervous first because where we were gonna shoot this scene, a week before we were supposed to shoot it, a person got hurt, the leg eaten by a white shark.
Conan: Oh, god.
Salma: So when --
Conan: That's the end for me.
[ Laughter ] I mean, I don't -- there's no getting me into the water. I mean, "well, that was a week ago."
[ Laughter ]
Salma: Colin, yeah -- colin was not a concern at this point, you know?
Salma: It was the shark. And then we changed locations, and it was a controlled environment, whatever.
Salma: But it was really cold. So I was -- it's always not --
Conan: Like freezing cold water?
Salma: Naked on top of it, you know, in front of people. And on top of it, it was freezing cold, so they had to take our temperature because there was -- you know, we could get hypothermia. And you know, we had to drink special things, and then off you go, and pretend to be free-spirited and enjoying yourself. And you're freezing, and your bones are about to break from the coldness of it.
Conan: Also speaking as a man, if I ever have a nude scene, it's not gonna be in freezing cold water.
[ Applause ] Moving on --
[ Laughter ] Yeah, that sounds to me like you really had to have -- and it took a lot of just bravery. I mean, you had to run in there in water that's freezing and cold.
Salma: And be naked.
Conan: Yeah, yeah. But I watched the scene actually -- many times -- and --
[ Laughter ] You know, you can't tell. I mean, you're just both -- you could never tell. You feel like you guys are just having a good time, you know what I mean? You don't pick up on that.
Salma: We're good actors.
Conan: Yeah. Oh yeah, yeah. Now, I know, speaking of good actors, I know that you are a very good -- close friends with penelope cruz.
Conan: You two are very good friends. And that when you two get together, you, as a lot of good friends do, you get silly sometimes. And you like to really do --
Salma: Most of the time.
Conan: Most of the time. You get sort of like -- you get together, and we all have friends like this. What are the kind of silly things that you're doing with penelope?
Salma: Oh, there's so many. I think she's the one to talk. We start competing about who can dance the worst.
Conan: Oh, really? Who can dance the worst.
Salma: She makes the silliest dance, the most ridiculous moves, completely against rhythm.
Salma: And it's -- it's not easy.
[ Laughter ] Not when you're latin, and naturally, you have, you know, some --
Conan: Right. Yeah, right.
[ Applause ] You have to fight your natural -- yeah, yeah.
Salma: You have to fight your natural instincts.
Conan: You realize you're speaking to the champ right here.
[ Laughter and applause ] I don't care how far you two go, if I ever blow into town, and the music stops, and I start to go, you know, I'm gonna win, hands down.
Salma: I don't know. We might stop you. We've been so -- you know, sometimes, we study you for background.
[ Applause ] When you do your --
Conan: The string dance.
Salma: Your string dance.
Conan: You -- I love this, the concept of these two beautiful, talented actresses copying the string dance.
[ Laughter ] That's terrible.
[ Laughter ] Don't do that.
Salma: Have you ever face danced?
Conan: Have I ever face danced?
Conan: What is that? No. I don't think so.
Salma: Well, you don't move anything in your body. But you just dance with your face.
[ Laughter ]
Conan: I think I could do that.
Salma: Okay, let's --
Conan: Max, play us anything. I don't care, anything. Get in really tight here. Faster, faster! Let's crank it up.
[ Laughter ]
[ Cheers and applause ] Well, anyway, I just had --
[ Cheers and applause ]
Salma: It's fun, isn't it?
Conan: It's fun, and I just had a small stroke.
[ Laughter ] It's all right. I'll take a few aspirin tonight, and I'll be all right. We have -- I'll get you for that. We have a clip here from "ask the dust." And to set this up, this is a period piece, as you said.
Salma: It is, yeah.
Conan: And it takes place in -- it's los angeles.
Salma: Los angeles 1930, where you know, it was, like, the peak of racism, and it was really bad. And not just for mexicans, but also for italians.
Salma: And my character, you know, she had small dreams. All she wants in life is a green card and a little bit of love. You know, she wants to marry an american guy so that her children don't have to go through racism. But she's sort of fallen for this italian, and he really loves her. And at this point in the movie, she's considering the possibility.
Salma: Maybe she goes for the italian.
Conan: All right, let's take a look at this clip from "ask the dust."
Salma: I know you like the palm of my hand, arturo. I'm telling you.
Salma: Right after sammy would. Would he do that? Would sammy ask you to marry him?
Salma: Who knows what sammy's gonna do?
Salma: Would sammy white ask camilla lopez to be his wife?
Salma: Who knows, and who cares?!
Salma: You do. I know you like the back of my hand, camilla.
[ Cheers and applause ]
Salma: I thought it was -- I thought it was before, when I said -- what is it, "would you change your name?" Or something like that.
Salma: And he goes, "what?" "Yes, I wouldn't want to go from lopez to bandini. It's not that much of an improvement, you know?"
[ Laughter ]
Salma: And he hasn't even thought about marrying this woman.
Conan: Right, right, right, right. And the director, robert towne.
Conan: Yeah, which is amazing.
Salma: Amazing. A fantastic writer and a wonderful director.
Conan: Sure, a classic. "Ask the dust" opens tomorrow in select cities. And we can't thank you enough for stopping by.
Salma: Thank you.
Conan: Thanks for being here. Salma hayek, everybody.
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