Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Salma Hayek: Nobody gave me a shot

Salma Hayek said getting work as a Mexican actress has been tough

Salma Hayek has confessed she still struggled to land acting jobs after her Oscar nomination.

The star told Stylist that, as a Mexican actress, she struggled to get work when she started trying to crack Hollywood and revealed that getting an Academy Award nod for her portrayal of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo in 2002 didn't really open any doors.

She said of starting out in Tinseltown: "You could not get a job if you were Mexican. The people I was auditioning for would make fun of Mexico and frankly, would make fun of me too, like, 'What are you doing here?' It was humiliating."

She went on: "I felt, 'How stupid of them not to give someone a chance because they are from another country.' I was shocked. I hadn't experienced discrimination before, but even if I had, it would still be stupid. It doesn't change how stupid it is, discrimination, whether you have experienced it before or for the first time. It doesn't justify it - it's just dumb."

Salma, 46, said her critically acclaimed performance in Frida didn't change things.

"After I did Frida, still nobody hired me! People would be like, 'You were so good.' I would say, 'Yes, because I had a part!' I was always good, just nobody gave me a shot. Afterwards, nobody gave me a shot again, but it was OK because at least I had done something I was proud of, that was meaningful to me. I didn't have that chip on my shoulder. I was more relaxed after that."

The Savages actress, who went on to start her own production company, said things are a lot easier now as attitudes have changed.

"I think Jennifer [Lopez], myself and Penelope [Cruz] changed it. That generation. We had it tough. Now it's a lot easier," she said.

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