Salma Hayek: “I Was Told I Would Have Been The Greatest Star In Hollywood If I Hadn't Been Mexican”

The Mexican actress proved to be very candid about all the difficulties she faced as her career was growing, and how her roots were constantly pointed out as an obstacle for her to make it in Hollywood

By Miguel Robles

- November 26 , 2021 - 01:47 hs
Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek (AP)

She has taken part on two of the most important films of the year. On one hand, we saw her in Marvel's 'Eternals,' in which she played the wise and spiritual leader of the Eternals called Ajak; on the other hand, she played the part of Giuseppina Auriemma, the psychic who eventually befriends Patrizia Reggiani, and subsequently helps her orchestrate Maurizio's murder.

But we've also heard the story about how her career was able to rise, despite suffering from discrimination. Especially at a time when Hollywood wasn't as aware as it is today regarding different races or people from other countries. In that sense, Salma says she has come a long way, after battling with prejudice and bigotry.

During an interview she gave to the Spanish outlet 'El País,' in order to promote her latest film 'House of Gucci,' she went on to talk about the kind of roles she has played recently. In fact, after being asked whether she thinks she's getting more interesting roles nowadays, than when she was younger. The actress, categorically claims yes.

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“Yes. But it is due to all the work I've done, and all that I have endured. At first, it was impossible for hispanic actors to make a place for themselves in Hollywood. But it's a different world now, it's more open, and I have been rewarded for all the sorrows I have been through. I never gave up,” Salma said proud of her struggle and how she endured all the difficulties adjacent to the industry.

But Salma Hayek was also very candid when she talked about these barriers; actually, when she was asked whether she thought it would have been easier [for her career growth] if her name had been 'Selma,' and also had been a Californian instead of being Mexican, the actress didn't hesitate at all when she answered the journalist “For sure.”

“I was told this, by some film executives. It's a little bit insulting when they tell you 'If you had not been born on the other side of the border, you would have been the biggest star in this country.” But my name is not latinx, I'm also libanese. So, Arab and Mexican, is a combination that for the United States... but here we are.”

At 55, Salma Hayek is at the top of her game. It definitely couldn't be better. Being part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, working for powerhouse filmmakers such as Ridley Scott and Academy Award winner, Chloé Zhao. However, the actress has found the best way to embrace age and make it play in her favor.

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“With age, I am less pressured to appear perfect. Because, then you say “Face it, I am in my 50s.” However, truth be told... you have to work harder to appear imperfect,” Salma says, while reminding everyone that she doesn't “kill” herself by doing it so, claiming that she's actually someone very relaxed in that sense.

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Miguel Robles

I began my journey as a journalist 15 years ago, when I started as a staff writer for OPEN Magazine. I was able to escalate up to the point of becoming the editor in chief of the magazine. Always adjusting to cope with changes in the industry. Trying to make strong connections with the people, and bringing voice to minorities through storytelling.

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