Back to IndieWire

Salma Hayek Says Harvey Weinstein Screamed at Her for Looking ‘Ugly’ as Frida Kahlo

"I was like, 'But didn’t you ever look at a picture of Frida Kahlo?'"

Salma Hayek, "Frida"

Salma Hayek, “Frida”

Miramax/courtesy Everett Collection

Salma Hayek came forward in December 2017 to reveal Harvey Weinstein had made repeated sexual advances on her and attempted to sexually assault her. Hayek told The New York Times that she always turned Weinstein’s requests down, saying, “No to me taking a shower with him. No to letting him watch me take a shower. No to letting him give me a massage. No to letting a naked friend of his give me a massage. No to letting him give me oral sex. No to my getting naked with another woman. No no no no no…And with every refusal came Harvey’s Machiavellian rage.”

Now in an interview with The Guardian, Hayek reflected on how Weinstein’s bullying disrupted her career far more than his unwanted sexual advances. The two worked together during the development, filming, and release of Hayek’s passion project “Frida,” the 2002 Julie Taymor–directed biographical drama about Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. The film earned Hayek an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.

“This is an interesting conversation because, if you really look at my [New York Times] piece, you’ll see that I really focused on the bullying [rather than the sexual harassment], and I do think women got it worse [from him],” Hayek told The Guardian. “[Weinstein] is not the only man to reassure himself by knowing he can destroy women.”

Weinstein’s bullying during “Frida” ballooned to cartoonish extremes, Hayek remembered. The movie earned additional Oscar nominations for Best Makeup and Best Costume Design thanks to the work it took to transform Hayek into the artist, complete with Kahlo’s trademark unibrow. According to Hayek, the Kahlo-accurate look enraged Weinstein because it made the actress not as attractive on screen.

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

Hayek is currently gearing up for the release of two major fall movies, the Marvel tentpole “Eternals” and Ridley Scott’s “House of Gucci. Weinstein, meanwhile, was sentenced to 23 years in prison in February 2020 after being charged with rape. Read Hayek’s full interview on The Guardian’s website.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Film and tagged , ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox