soon landed the title role in "Teresa" (1989), a hugely
succesfull soap opera which earned her the star status in her
native Mexico. However, anxious to make films and to explore
her talent and passion, Hayek left both "Teresa" (1989)
and Mexico in 1991. Heartbroken fans spread rumors that she
was having a secret affair with Mexico's president and left
to escape his wife's wrath.
long last, Salma made her way to Los Angeles. The 24 year old
actress approached Hollywood with naive enthusiasm, and quickly
learned that Latin actresses were, if at all, typecast as the
mistress maid or local prostitute. By late 1992, Hayek had landed
only bit parts. She appeared on "Street Justice" (1991),
The Sinbad Show, "Nurses" (1991), and as a sexy maid
on the HBO series "Dream On" (1990). She also had
one line in the Allison Anders film Mi Vida Loca. Feeling under-appreciated
by Anglo filmmakers, Hayek vented her frustrations on comedian
Paul Rodriguez's late-night Spanish-language talk show in 1992.
Rodriguez and his producer wife Elizabeth Avellan happened to
be watching and were immediately smitten with the intelligent
opinionated young woman. He soon gave her her big break. To
star opposite Antonio Banderas in the now cult classic "Desperado"
which put her on Hollywood's map. The moviegoers proved to be
as dazzled with Hayek as he had been.
her break, she was cast again by Rodriguez to star in his "From
Dusk Till Dawn". Although her vampy role opposite Clooney
and tarantino was a small one, it was a good credit to her box
office name. Hayek's first star billing came later that year
with "Fools Rush In" opposite "friends"
actor Matthew Perry. The film was a modest hit, and Hayek continued
to rise her star in both commercial and artistic films such
as "Breaking Up" with an unknown Russel Crowe. "54"
about the rise and fall of the legendary New York club. "Dogma",
the muse in a somewhat odd comedy co-starring Matt Damon and
Chris Rock. "In The Time Of The Butterflies" the small
artistic film which won Hayek an ALMA award as best actress.
and the 1999 summerblockbuster "Wild Wild West". Her
production company Ventanarosa produced the 1999 Mexican feature
film No One Writes to the Colonel, which was shown at the Cannes
Film Festival and selected as Mexico's official Oscar entry
for best foreign film.
new millenium started out quietly around Salma as she was preparing
to produce and star in her dream role. The role was that of
Frida Kahlo, The legendary Mexican painter whom Salma had been
admiring her entire life and whose story she wanted to bring
to the big screen ever since her arrival in Hollywood. It finally
happened in 2002. "Frida", co-produced by Hayek, was
a beautifully made film overflowing with passion and enthusiasm
with terrific performances from Salma and Alfred Molina as Kahlo's
cheating husband Diego Rivera. On the side was an entourage
of stars including Antonio Banderas, Ashley Judd, Geoffrey Rush,
Edward Norton and Valeria Golino.
picture was a hit and was nominated for 6 Oscars including best
actress for Hayek, who became the first Latin actress to be
nominated in the category, and won the awards for make-up and
its brilliant original score by Elliott Goldenthal. Hayek established
herself as the serious actress that she is and in the same year
expanded her horizons directing "The Maldonado Miracle"
which was shown as the Sundance Film festival. In 2003 she starred
in the final of Rodriguez's Desperado triology "Once upon
a time in Mexico" again opposite Banderas, and has just
finished "After The Sunset" opposite Pierce Brosnan
and "Ask The Dust" opposite Colin Farrell. Both are
scheduled for release in early 2005. In the works are Robert
Altman's "Paint" and "Bandidas" in which
she will star with her friend Penélope Cruz.