Fresh Faces

Salma Hayek


Salma Hayek is a Mexican-American film actress, director and producer. She began her career in Mexico starring in the telenovela "Teresa" and went on to star in the film "El Callejón de los Milagros" (Miracle Alley) for which she was nominated for an Ariel Award. In 1991, Ms. Hayek moved to Hollywood and came to prominence with roles in Hollywood movies such as "Desperado" (1995), "Dogma" (1999), and "Wild Wild West" (1999).

At the age of 23, she landed the title role in "Teresa" (1989), a successful Mexican telenovela that made her a star in Mexico. In 1994, she starred in the film "El Callejón de los Milagros" (Miracle Alley), which has won more awards than any other movie in the history of Mexican cinema. For her performance, she was nominated for an Ariel Award.

Ms. Hayek moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1991 to study acting under Stella Adler. Due to dyslexia, she had limited fluency in English. Robert Rodriguez, and his producer and then-wife, Elizabeth Avellan, soon gave Hayek a starring role opposite Antonio Banderas in 1995's "Desperado." She followed her role in Desperado with a brief role as a vampire queen in "From Dusk till Dawn," in which she performed a table-top snake dance.


She had a starring role opposite Matthew Perry in the 1997 romantic comedy "Fools Rush In." In 1999, she co-starred in Will Smith's big-budget "Wild Wild West," and played a supporting role in Kevin Smith's "Dogma." In 2000, she had an uncredited acting part opposite Benicio del Toro in "Traffic." In 2003, she reprised her role from Desperado by appearing in "Once Upon a Time in Mexico," the final film of the Mariachi Trilogy.

Around 2000, Ms. Hayek founded film production company Ventanarosa, through which she produces film and television projects. Her first feature as a producer was 1999's "El Coronel No Tiene Quien Le Escriba," Mexico's official selection for submission for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars.

"Frida," co-produced by Ms. Hayek, was released in 2002. She starred as Frida Kahlo, and Alfred Molina as her unfaithful husband, Diego Rivera, the film was directed by Julie Taymor and featured an entourage of stars in supporting and minor roles (Valeria Golino, Ashley Judd, Edward Norton, Geoffrey Rush) and cameos (Antonio Banderas). She earned a Best Actress Academy Award nomination for her performance.


"In the Time of the Butterflies" is a 2001 feature film based on the Julia Álvarez book of the same name, covering the lives of the Mirabal sisters. In the movie, she plays one of the sisters, Minerva, and Edward James Olmos plays the Dominican dictator Rafael Leónidas Trujillo whom the sisters opposed.

In 2003, she produced and directed "The Maldonado Miracle," a Showtime movie based on the book of the same name, winning her a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing in a Children/Youth/Family Special. In December 2005, she directed a music video for Prince, titled "Te Amo Corazon" ("I love you, sweetheart") that featured Mía Maestro.

Ms. Hayek was an executive producer of "Ugly Betty," a television series that aired around the world from 2006 to 2010. She adapted the series for American television with Ben Silverman, who acquired the rights and scripts from the Colombian telenovela "Yo Soy Betty La Fea" in 2001. Originally intended as a half hour sitcom for NBC in 2004, the project would later be picked up by ABC for the 2006–2007 season with Silvio Horta also producing. She guest-starred on Ugly Betty as Sofia Reyes, a magazine editor. She also had a cameo playing an actress in the telenovela within the show. The show won a Golden Globe Award for Best Comedy Series in 2007. Her performance as Sofia resulted in a nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series at the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards.


In April 2007, she finalized negotiations with MGM to become the CEO of her own Latin themed film production company, Ventanarosa. The following month, she signed a two-year deal with ABC for Ventanarosa to develop projects for the network.

She played the wife of Adam Sandler's character in "Grown Ups," which also co-starred Chris Rock and Kevin James. At his insistence, she co-starred with Antonio Banderas in the "Shrek" spin-off film "Puss in Boots" as the voice of the character Kitty Softpaws, who serves as Puss's female counterpart and love interest. She reprised her role in "Grown Ups 2," which was released in July 2013.

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