Saturday, May 5, 2012

Saturday Scream Queen: Salma Hayek

It's Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican holiday that is, apparently, a bigger deal in the United States than in Mexico, but I figured I should profile a Mexican actress anyway.

Unfortunately, the only Mexican actresses I could think of with any horror credits were Salma Hayek and Julissa. And since I couldn't find a good picture of Julissa, and attempts at doing screen captures from the movies I have she's been in were blurry at best, Salma Hayek won the honor of being today's Scream Queen.

Born in 1966 to a wealthy Lebanese business man and a famous Mexican opera singer, Salma Hayek decided at a young age that she wanted to be an actress, and she directed all her efforts toward achieving that dream. (Well, aside from playing pranks on the nuns at the convent school she attended as a child... pranks that eventually got her expelled.)

In 1989, Hayek acheived star status in her home country of Mexico when she landed the title role on the hugely successful soap opera "Therea". She had her sights set on a movie career, however, and by 1991, she left the show and Mexico behind with the intent of making it in Hollywood.

After a string of bit parts on television shows, she finally reached Hollywood stardom when she played opposite Antonio Banderas in "Desperado" (1995) and as the vampire stripper that most horror fans know her as in "From Dusk Till Dawn" (1996), where she appeared with George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, and Cheech Martin.

Hayek fame and career have been on a steady upward trajectory ever since, but she has focused mostly on dramas and comedies. Beyond "From Dusk Till Dawk", the only other horror film she has appeared in was "The Hunchback" in 1997... although if one really reaches, one can include 2009's "Cirque de Freak: The Vampire's Assistant" as a horror credit.

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