Salma Hayek says she was told that both her age and her nationality would exclude her from finding success as an actress.
“They told me my career would die mid-30s. First of all, they told me a Mexican is never going to make it, because at the time, the new generations, it was impossible for a Mexican to have a leading role in Hollywood,” Hayek, who stars opposite Owen Wilson in the new film Bliss, told the PA news agency. “And it was like it was not real — it was like this strange reality that now has become a normality. But not at the time.”
Now 54, Hayek says she’s thrilled to have triumphed in a challenging industry.“And I think it’s great, I’m proud of it, I want to shout it to the world, because I was told so many times it couldn’t happen and I almost believed them but I fought it and I won,” said Hayek, adding that she also wants other women to understand that it’s OK to bloom later in life.
“I want other women to realize that, because even in your 30s you feel the pressure, in your 40s you feel the pressure — and late blooming, it’s a beautiful thing,” she said. “And we’re not ‘over’ at this time, or at another time. If you’re creative and enthusiastic and curious about life, life can be exciting forever, the entire time.”
One of the horrific challenges Hayek faced in the film industry includes her experience working with Harvey Weinstein on her 2002 hit film, Frida. Last week, Hayek told the Evening Standard that while the opportunity to work with Weinstein first seemed to be “a dream come true,” it soon turned into a nightmare. In the past, she has shared that Weinstein repeatedly sexually harassed her, and even threatened her with violence.
“He was my monster,” she wrote in the New York Times back in 2017, claiming Weinstein once told her “I will kill you, don’t think I can’t.”Nearly a year since Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison for rape and sexual assault, Hayek now says dealing with the trauma of her experience has been an ongoing journey.