Don’t let the pageantry or stiff, extravagant collars Salma Hayek wears in Matteo Garrone’s new movie Tale of Tales fool you. Her character Queen Longtrellis is one mean mama on a mission to give her only son the world, even if it may cost her everything. The Queen’s story is just one of a handful of wacky grown-up fairy tales, which also sees Tobey Jones as a King raising a flea and Vincent Cassel as a royal womanizer. At a recent screening during the Los Cabos International Film Festival, we learned that it only gets weirder from there.
The Queen chomps on a sea monster’s bloody heart to get herself pregnant and balances intense hoop skirts as she’s storming through the castle. But this isn’t Salma Hayek’s first dig at the wonderfully weird and absurd. Here are five equally strange roles Hayek has played.
From Dusk Till Dawn
Hayek’s first legit weird role came courtesy of Robert Rodriguez’s devilishly fun supernatural 1996 thriller From Dusk Till Dawn. Co-starring George Clooney, Juliette Lewis, Harvey Keitel, and Rodriguez’s BFF Quentin Tarantino (who also co-wrote the script), Hayek plays star performer/vampire Santanico Pandemonium, who gets the bloody party started in a shady bar where all their characters now have to fight to the death.
Wild Wild West
A little less bloody, but no less campy, is Wild Wild West, the steampunk-meets-Tombstone mess of a movie starring Will Smith and Kevin Kline. The 1999 movie gave Hayek a turn as damsel in distress Rita Escobar, and she pleads with the two gun-totin’ mechanically enhanced heroes to rescue her captured father. But not one to disappoint, Hayek’s character is more than meets the eye. As for the rest of us, we’ll never forget those nightmare-inducing mechanical spiders looming over the Western horizon.
Perhaps Kevin Smith’s weirdest movie (and that’s saying something), Dogma is about a pair of fallen arch angels (played by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck fresh from their Good Will Hunting fame), who seek to bring about the end of the earth while God (Alanis Morissette) is trapped in an earthly body. Some divinely inspired casting gave audiences Alan Rickman as the Voice of God, Chris Rock as Jesus’ black friend Rufus, George Carlin as a priest who blesses his golf clubs, and Salma Hayek as Serendipity, one of the nicer Muses. Consider this movie #blessed.
Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant
Unfortunately the young adult series didn’t give us a slew of sequels to see strange Salma in action, but it did give audiences a new side we hadn’t seen. As part of a traveling freak show, Hayek portrays Madam Truska, the resident bearded lady. Oh yes, she grows the beard on command then chops it off with a quick set of blades. Bonus points: Hayek rejoins her Cirque cast-mate John C. Reilly in Tale of Tales, and the pair play the central royal couple.
Here Comes The Boom
Salma Hayek is one of the sexiest stars in Hollywood, yet this Kevin James comedy gives her character little room to be more than a trophy. That’s a bizarre role to put Hayek in, don’t you think? 😉