Salma Hayek Wept Filming Her First Ever Nude Scene

By Britta DeVore | Updated

salma hayek
Salma Hayek in Desperado

When it comes to female stars thrown into nude scenes, the level of comfort and safety all comes down to those surrounding the actress on set. Recently opening up on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast, Salma Hayek spoke about her first time appearing naked on screen in her 1993 breakout role in Robert Rodriguez’s film, Desperado. In what took her completely by surprise, the 30 Rock star said that she had no idea that her role called for a sex scene between her and her co-star, Antonio Banderas.

“I was not letting go of the towel. They would try to make me laugh. I would take it off for two seconds and start crying again.”

Salma Hayek

Caught completely off guard, when the day came that she both found out that she would be stripping down to bare it all, Salma Hayek said that she “started to sob,” adding that the thoughts racing through her head were, “‘I don’t know that I can do it. I’m afraid.’”

One thing that both helped and hurt her nerves was her friendship with Antonio Banderas as the Frida star recalls that the pair were already acquaintances when filming began. “He was an absolute gentleman and so nice,” Hayek says, “but he was very free. It scared me that for him, it was like nothing.”

While it may have just been another day at the office for Antonio Banderas, it was a major milestone for Salma Hayek’s career and a moment that she felt “embarrassed” to be on set. But, with the support of both her leading man and the film’s director, she was able to complete the shoot – albeit more traumatized than when she walked onto the set that day.

Still, Salma Hayek says, “We got through it” and she and the rest of the team “did the best with what we could do at the time.” While she was, of course, thinking about herself and the future of her career should she go full-speed ahead with the nude scene in Desperado, the Puss in Boots: The Last Wish star says that she was also “thinking of my father and brother,” wondering if they would see it in or out of the theaters and if they would face any pushback from their friends. 

salma hayek antonio banderas desperado
Salma Hayek and Antonio Banderas in Desperado

“He was an absolute gentleman and so nice…but he was very free. It scared me that for him, it was like nothing.”

Salma Hayek on filming her nude scene with Antonio Banderas

In the end, her portrayal as Carolina paid off as Desperado is still cited as Salma Hayek’s big break – a performance that would see the actress go on to star in a slew of features, including From Dusk Till Dawn, Dogma, Wild Wild West, Bandidas, Eternals, House of Gucci, and so many more.

Salma Hayek’s latest comments come hot on the heels of Kate Winslet sharing a similar experience of her first nude scene with the world. While many will undoubtedly remember the critically acclaimed star’s clothing-less scene in James Cameron’s Titanic, it was her performance opposite Melanie Lynskey in Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures that saw her forced to strip down on set.

A recent interview revealed that the actress had majorly blocked the traumatizing moments from that day out after a cameraman made her feel increasingly uncomfortable as the scene in question approached.

In the end, her portrayal as Carolina paid off as Desperado is still cited as Salma Hayek’s big break

Perhaps so many women like Salma Hayek and Kate Winslet are continuing the conversation surrounding nude scenes in Hollywood with the recent arrival of Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer which sees leading lady, Florence Pugh, entirely nude on more than one occasion.

While safety has come a long way since the early ‘90s, we’re still hearing reports from those on sets like Game of Thrones who didn’t feel completely comfortable when it came time to disrobe in front of hundreds of crew members.

Still, with the conversation going and legends like Kate Winslet and Salma Hayek joining in, it’s wonderful to see just how many stars are looking out for one another to ensure that their uncomfortable moments don’t happen again, or at the very least, the next generation doesn’t need to feel quite as vulnerable as before.