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Salma Hayek Pinault Calls ‘Genius’ Angelina Jolie the ‘Best Director I’ve Ever Worked With’

The two stars recently collaborated on Jolie's upcoming film "Without Blood."

Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek Pinault

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Since making her directorial debut with “In the Land of Blood and Honey” in 2011, Angelina Jolie has gradually built out her directing career. Alternating between big studio projects like “Unbroken” and smaller, more personal films, she has largely flown under the radar and earned praise for how seriously she takes filmmaking. While the actress frequently stars in big film franchises such as “Maleficent” and “Eternals,” Jolie continues to direct at a steady clip. Her next film, an adaptation of Alessandro Baricco’s novel “Without Blood” starring Salma Hayek Pinault, recently wrapped production.

In a new interview with Deadline, Hayek Pinault praised the experience of working with Jolie on the upcoming film. While she didn’t discuss the plot, she had nothing but good things to say about Jolie’s artistry. The two previously appeared together in Chloe Zhao’s “Eternals,” but this is their first time working together as an actor and director. And apparently, things went pretty well.

“We just finished it,” Hayek Pinault said. “Angelina is the best director I’ve ever worked with. I absolutely loved working with her; enjoyed every second of it. It’s a tough piece but it was so delicious to come to work every single day. She is a genius and I think this might be her best movie yet. She did an amazing job, really.”

It’s certainly high praise, considering that Hayek Pinault has previously worked with the likes of Steven Soderbergh, Julie Taymor, Robert Towne, and Oliver Stone throughout her three decade career as an actress. But Jolie’s combination of focus, technical skill, and generosity with actors impressed her more than any of them.

“I was completely blown away by her mind, her dedication, her technical knowledge, and her control of every aspect, as well as her vision which is so clear,” she said. “She is so good with the actors, so passionate, and so focused. But most of all, I was blown away by her kindness to every single person on the set. I talked about this with my co-star Demián Bichir and we were saying, ‘Wow, she’s really something.’”

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