Hollywood star Salma Hayek has detailed about her experience shooting the sex scene in the 1995 film Desperado, directed by Robert Rodriguez and also starring Antonio Banderas.
Desperado is the second installment in Rodriguez’s Mexico Trilogy, which also includes the films El Mariachi (1993) and Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003).
Mexico-born American Hayek broke out from the action movie in which she played the role of Carolina, a tough book cafe owner who teams up with Banderas’ El Mariachi seeking revenge on the drug lord who killed his lover.
Hayek, who has previously spoken about how she struggled with the very graphic sex scene, on Monday cleared the air that her trauma had nothing to do with Rodriguez or Banderas.
On Armchair Expert, the popular weekly podcast hosted by Dax Shepard and Monica Padman, the 54-year-old actor said when she landed the role, there was no mention of a sex scene between her character, Carolina and El Mariachi (Banderas) in the script. It was brought to her attention after production began.
The Oscar-nominated actor said she agreed to do the scene on a closed set as Rodriguez was her “bro” and his then-wife, producer Elizabeth Avellan, was her “best friend”.
There would be just the four of them while shooting the scene.
“So, when we were going to start shooting, I started to sob,” Hayek recalled, adding she kept saying to the trio, “I don’t know that I can do it. I’m afraid.”
She said one of the things she was afraid of was Banderas, now her close friend and frequent collaborator.
“He was an absolute gentleman and so nice, and we’re still super close friends — but he was very free. It scared me that for him, it was like nothing. I started crying, and he was like, ‘Oh my God. You’re making me feel terrible.’ And I was so embarrassed that I was crying.”
Hayek made clear several times that Rodriguez and Banderas “were amazing” and that the director “never put pressure on me.”
Despite everything, the moment was very traumatic, she said.
“I was not letting go of the towel. They would try to make me laugh. I would take it off for two seconds and start crying again. But we got through it. We did the best with what we could do at the time.
“When you’re not you, then you can do it. But I keep thinking of my father and my brother. And are they going to see it? And are they going to get teased? Guys don’t have that. Your father will be, ‘Yeah! That’s my son!’”
The actor also recounted taking her father and brother to see the film, but said they left the theatre during the scene in question and returned when it was over.
“You want your father to be nothing but proud of you,” Hayek, who reprised her role in Once Upon a Time in Mexico, added.
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