Salma Hayek is a force to be reckoned with. From her standout performance in Eternals as Ajak to her supporting role in House of Gucci, she’s a transformative actress who can handle any role thrown her way with a grace few know how to navigate. Here at Remezcla, we got a chance to speak with this icon about her work, what Hollywood can do to increase visibility when it comes to Latine representation, and more.
Her latest project, House of Gucci, sees her working with Lady Gaga. Hayek herself plays Pina, a psychic who becomes best friends with Gaga’s Patrizia as the latter tries to navigate life and get everything she desires. And for Hayek, it was fun playing a role where she could support an icon like Gaga, her words and not ours.
“Patricia comes along and makes her [Pina’s] life exciting. So it was lovely to play a supporting role for an icon.” Hayek said before continuing, “I think Lady Gaga is so incredibly talented. But also she’s a very hardworking woman. And that I understand. So it was an honor. She’s the ultimate professional. Very kind, sweet, and very passionate about her work.”
Hayek’s recent work on Eternals is also a first for this actor. In it, Hayek gets to play Ajak, the leader of a group of ageless beings who mold and shape the human race into what it is today and a superhero in her own right. And in thinking of Pina and Ajak, we couldn’t help wondering what would happen if these two would meet.
There was absolutely no hesitation in Hayek’s answer after asking this question. She thinks they would have a lot in common.
“My character Ajak, in the Eternals, she talks to the Celestials. And Pina, she can do a little bit of medium work and talk to dead people. And also Ajak can see, she’s a visionary for potentials in the future,” Hayek explains, making us see a connection we never thought possible.
Having this diversity in roles has made Hayek’s film career fun and full of surprises. But it didn’t come without plenty of hard work. As a Latine woman in the movie industry, she has had to fight tooth and nail to get to where she is today aka being one of the most recognizable faces on the big screen. And when we asked what changes could be made to make the journey easier for future Latine creators, she was quick to answer as well.
“I would love for more Latinos to be behind the cameras, with strong positions, and in creative positions,” Hayek said, knowing that the work behind-the-scenes is just as important as on camera, “And more Latino writers. We desperately need more Latino writers. More Latino directors.”
This is only the start for Hayek. She wants studios, directors, writers’ rooms, and more to give new voices a chance. “It’s important to have interesting new Latino voices that can help us reshape our identity so we can reinvent who we are, especially in the moment that we are living in now.” And in redefining ourselves, in giving these voices a chance, we can refine for ourselves who we are and let the stereotypes about our communities die.
And we couldn’t agree more with Hayek when she says, “I’m excited to discover [as more Latino voices reshape our identity], “Who are we?”