Salma Hayek has been around Hollywood for a long time now and is actually about to break into the comic book/ superhero genre this year. But when she was getting her breakout role back in the 90s, the experience was more than a little scarring. It seems that when she was asked to do a nude love scene with Antonio Banderas, the filming left the actress quite traumatized. Hayek wasn’t at all up for the experience and it sounds downright awful when she described it all of these years later.
On Dax Shephard and Monica Padman’s podcast The Armchair Expert, Salma Hayek describes her role in Robert Rodriguez’s Desperado, which was an English-language follow-up to El Mariachi. The film centers on Banderas’s gun-slinging guitarist character, but at one point in the film, both he and Hayek were asked to film a nude love scene.
For Salma Hayek, this was her first big role and she, in no way, wanted part of this scene. Though in the interview she was complimentary of Rodriguez and Banderas, she also says they had to stop the filming multiple times because she was crying.
Salma Hayek went on to explain that she was intimidated by Banderas’s casual approach to the scene and that, in the end, they had to have almost a completely closed set just to get through the filming. While Hayek doesn’t sound like she was animosity necessarily towards the filmmaker or co-star, it’s clear filming this has stuck with her for a long time. She was able to detail things down to the minute almost, describing removing a towel, starting to shoot, and then having to stop because she’d break down in tears.
In an era where this kind of thing really does not play well, having an actress possibly doing something against her will on screen, I do wonder if Rodriguez is called on the carpet. Again, Hayek maintains she and the director are friends and she doesn’t seem to hold it against him. And she did go on to work with him on From Dusk Til Dawn. But having her so clearly not wanting to do the scene and the director pushing for it is a pretty bad look.
Coming up, Salma Hayek is set to make a debut in the Marvel Universe with the film Eternals releasing later this year. She’s starring as Ajak, one of the leaders of the group, an elder almost. She’ll play an extremely powerful character and in the Marvel Cinematic Universe will push forward these almost god-like creatures into the forefront. The film has a loaded cast with Angelina Jolie, Kumail Ninjiani, and Kit Harrington among others joining the ranks.
It will be interesting to see if there’s any additional follow-up or fallout from this Salma Hayek interview. Again, though she didn’t seem to harbor anger toward those involved, it’s clear that if this kind of thing happened these days there might be considerable backlash.