Salma Hayek on life with her fashion mogul husbandBy Ruben V. Nepales
Philippine Daily Inquirer
LOS ANGELES—“Not always private jets,” Salma Hayek clarified in a recent interview when a reporter praised her for staying grounded despite a lifestyle that must involve flying around in private planes. “I flew commercial from Boston yesterday.”
The actress is married to fashion mogul, Francois-Henri Pinault, a billionaire who is the CEO of PPR, whose brands include Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta. The Paris-based Salma was in LA to help promote “Savages,” her movie with director Oliver Stone that also stars Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively, Aaron Johnson, John Travolta and Benicio del Toro.
When a journalist asked how she keeps herself grounded in the City of Light, Salma replied, “I let my maid do everything that she can, but I don’t have her all the time. In Paris, they leave at 5 in the afternoon. I have to cook dinner and do everything else. But, it’s nice, because it’s very family-oriented. By that time, there’s not a lot of people. I always have a lot of people, so it’s nice that at that point, there’s not a lot of them.”
Addressing the journalist’s reference to her as being part of about four percent of the world (Pinault’s father is one of the richest on this planet), Salma pointed out, “I feel very privileged in many different ways—but, the things that I’m most excited about are—not that I’m living like the four percent—but that I’m living like the one percent of the world—I have a happy marriage. I am healthy. I am aging gracefully. Yes, I’m getting older, but at least it’s not so bad. My daughter (Valentina, 4) is fantastic. I feel lucky about the things that really matter. Maybe that keeps me grounded.”
Salma claimed that she still loves to do grocery-shopping. “Are you kidding me?,” she said. “I love Farmers Markets and Whole Foods. You buy delicious, fattening things but somehow, you feel like you’re doing this in a healthy way. I enjoy it.”
But, according to the woman who can turn to a number of top Parisian fashion houses that her husband’s company owns for her clothes, she isn’t a shopaholic. “I am not so much into shopping (for clothes),” she stressed. “Isn’t that weird? It seems ironic. All of my friends, because they are fashionistas, go, ‘You ended up with that guy?’ I don’t love shopping, but I organize many different homes. With all the people around, everybody’s schedule, my own schedule—I am an organizer! I’m not much of a shopper. But, I like cooking.”
Elegant but colorful
The Mexico native claimed that, when it comes to her homes, she is “not a collector. I do have a sense of style. I like homes to be comfortable, happy, elegant but colorful. But, in reality, the one who is better than me is my husband. He has a better sense of style than I do. So, it’s fun. We do it together. We don’t have decorators. We don’t fight about it, which is good, because I hear many times that remodelling could be the cause of divorce.”
Salma emphasized that she’s more enthused about her family. “I try to stay a lot with my child,” she shared. “I’m a good Mexican mother. I take my child to school. I do activities with her.
“At night, I work after dinner with my family. Everybody goes to sleep while I work, because I have my beauty and production companies here (in the US), so I work really late at night.”
Salma has no need for a Paris Metro pass. “I am very lucky,” she said. “I have a car with a driver. It’s very bad that you cannot find taxis on the street, but they have a good service. You call, and the taxi comes up. I don’t need the Metro so much.”
Salma laughed over the irony that, while she and close friend, Penelope Cruz, live in Europe, they usually see each other in LA. “It’s so strange! We are both so busy. It’s hard to see each other with the kids and the work. We’re still very close.”
On their almost parallel lives, Salma commented, “We hoped, yeah, but we didn’t know exactly how it was going to be and with whom. But yes, we had similar dreams and paths. It’s been interesting. She was on (Jay) Leno yesterday, and I’m on Leno today. It’s incredible! I’m going to see her tomorrow, then we both leave on the same day.”
In “Savages,” Salma plays Elena, a badass Mexican drug lord. “I love the character,” she said. “I had a lot of say in what she looked like. Oliver was really cool even though he asked me a lot of questions about why that choice, why this choice. I created a character based on the powerful, strong women I’ve met in my life. These women were very imposing—you can never forget them. I knew she had to be that strong to operate in that world. Women like that create a very specific identity.”
Salma added, “If you notice in the film, I don’t change my hair or necklace. She’s very specific. Oliver asked, ‘Why don’t you change?’ I said, ‘No, because in order to create an iconic character, there are certain characteristics, especially in the short time that she has to be very memorable.’ A lot of women create their own character like that. You see them in Fashion Week on the first row. Everybody has her own trademark that you remember them by —like Evita Peron. So, I created the character based on that. I worked with the production design and all the departments to create this character.”
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at twitter.com/nepalesruben.
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