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Salma Hayek: Harvey Weinstein would scream ‘I didn’t hire you to look ugly!’ during making of Frida

Actor earned an Oscar nomination for her 2002 role as the famous artist Frida Kahlo

Annabel Nugent
Wednesday 03 November 2021 08:40
Salma Hayek says she still hasn't 'healed' from Harvey Weinstein trauma
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Salma Hayek has revealed that Harvey Weinstein used to call her during the making of Frida and berate her over her appearance in the biopic.

The actor opened up about her experiences with the convicted rapist and disgraced film producer in an interview with The Guardian.

Hayek told the publication that Weinstein “is not the only man to reassure himself by knowing he can destroy women”.

Asked whether she normalised his bullying as a way to cope with it, the actor answered: “To a degree.”

“I did feel alright [when he bullied me],” said Hayek. “Ok, I would shake [afterwards] and it did depress me, but there was a cartoon aspect about the whole thing.”

The 55-year-old said that while shooting the 2002 film Frida, in which she starred as the artist Frida Kahlo, Weinstein – a producer on the film – would call and attack her for “looking ugly”.

“When he would call me up [during the making of Frida] and scream, ‘Why do you have a [monobrow] and moustache? I didn’t hire you to look ugly!’ I was like, ‘But didn’t you ever look at a picture of Frida Kahlo?’ If a man was playing Cyrano de Bergerac, he wouldn’t say, ‘What’s with the nose?’” recalled the actor.

The role earned Hayek an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role.

Hayek as Frida Kahlo in the 2002 biopic Frida

In 2017, Hayek wrote an article for The New York Times in which she detailed how Weinstein had sexually harassed her for years. She wrote that “with every refusal came Harvey’s Machiavellian rage”.

In it, the From Dusk till Dawn star wrote that she believes Weinstein never assaulted her because she was friends with people such as Robert Rodriguez, George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino.

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Pressed on these claims in the Guardian interview, Hayek added: “Also I was very strong.”

“I didn’t just say no. I’m a force to be recognised,” said the actor. “He never saw me weak. It’s not that I’m not afraid, but you’re not going to see it. I can be almost intimidating in my calm strength, you know?”

She went on to say that Weinstein was “not the first or last one” to bully or harass her, calling the issue in Hollywood “systematic”.

Hayek stipulated, however, that she does not “hold a grudge” and “believe[s] people can change”.

In 2020, Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison after being convicted of rape and criminal sexual acts.

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