Salma Hayek had a bad case of Covid last year & refused to go to the hospital

Stephen King rushes into his appearance on 'The Late Show With Stephen Colbert'

Salma Hayek covers the latest issue of Variety to promote some of her upcoming films, mainly The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (coming out soon) and The Eternals (coming out later this year). She also went back to work recently on House of Gucci, where she plays a supporting role as a clairvoyant who helped Patrizia Reggiani orchestrate her husband’s murder. I would pay money to watch Salma and Lady Gaga interact, so that’s good casting. Salma also chatted with Variety about how she had a really bad case of Covid-19, so bad that she almost died. Some highlights from this piece:

She contracted Covid early in the pandemic: “My doctor begged me to go to the hospital because it was so bad. I said, ‘No, thank you. I’d rather die at home.’” Hayek spent about seven weeks isolated in a room of the house. At one point, she was put on oxygen. She still hasn’t fully regained the energy she once had.

Being typecast in her early days: “They wouldn’t even give me the auditions. We tried really hard. I said I know I can do drama, but what about romantic comedies and action comedies? For them, it was like, ‘Oh, no, she’s just like a sexy Mexican.’”

She was shocked when she was approached for The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard: “I didn’t trust him. At the beginning, I said, “Oh, he’s just exaggerating. He’s just being nice.” But then when we started talking about it, he told me the storyline, and then I realized, “Oh, my God, this guy is not only for real, but he also wants me involved in the process. Then I said, “Let’s make it really interesting and talk about menopause in a funny way.” Imagine if you have a character that’s already crazy and then add those hormones.

Whether she ever thought she would be an action star during menopause: “No, never. But I did think I would do action and comedy. I remember there were two big comedies I auditioned for the lead. Afterwards, the directors told me that I was the best audition and that I was better than who they cast and that they regretted it. But at the time, they knew the studios wouldn’t have gone for a Mexican as the lead….I got a lot of satisfaction with them coming to me and telling me because I thought it was very courageous of them. And I thought it changed something. It changed something in them. It made [me think that] maybe the next generation or the next girl that comes in was going to get a better shot because of it. But nobody really looked into my value. If you are a woman and you are in a movie that is very successful and they say you are their favorite character, they will still give all credits of the box office to the guy. They don’t count who you’re bringing into the theaters.

On The Eternals: “It never crossed my mind to be in a Marvel movie. I guess that I thought that boat had sailed, and it was an absolute shock. All of a sudden, I got a call: “They want to talk to you about a new franchise.” And I was like, “What?” And I said OK, but they don’t tell you any information until you’re on the call. It’s kind of hard to be an action hero if you’re Mexican. It’s really hard to be an action hero if you’re a Mexican and a woman. But to be an action hero, being Mexican, a woman, and my age, it felt like they were punking me. And then the worst part is that I was one of the first people they cast. I had to keep my mouth shut for so many months. I couldn’t tell a soul. And I couldn’t wait for the day that I could say it.

On feminism & female power: “My husband is very feminist, and he does a lot of studies on this. I remember a long time ago that he told me that women have a harder time asking for a promotion or for a raise. They really try to justify it. Men normally ask for it prematurely. It has to do with self-esteem and with systematic and constant sexism. It takes women a lot of courage to ask. They’re afraid they’re going to get fired. So if it’s going well for you, if you see the change, it’s good to say that it is happening for us. I know that it’s not happening for every woman, but it gave me courage when I saw it happening for other women, even if it was not happening to me.”

[From Variety]

I mean, she’s right? For years, Hollywood didn’t know where to “put” Salma and she was typecast as always the “sexy Latina.” To see her change that perception over the course of her career has been remarkable. And it’s really cool that she’s now the (menopausal) lead in a Marvel superhero film with Angelina Jolie and Kumail Nanjiani. What she says about women asking for raises is dead-on too, and there’s more data on that than just “my husband researched it.” Men asks for raises often and early and women rarely do.

26 February 2020, Berlin: 70th Berlinale, "The Roads Not Taken" - Press conference: Actress Salma Ha...

Cover courtesy of Variety, additional photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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21 Responses to “Salma Hayek had a bad case of Covid last year & refused to go to the hospital”

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  1. Meredith says:

    I’m sorry that she was so sick, but my primary reaction is sadness and anger that the vast majority of COVID (or any other serious illness) victims don’t have the resources to stay at home and receive appropriate care. Of any kind. Our world right now only takes care of those who can pay enough for it…

    • Northstar says:

      This is so true unfortunately. I keep wondering what I can do to encourage positive change.

    • AnnaC says:

      I thought this too. COVID sucks for anyone who contracts it, but she is fortunate to have the resources to essentially set up a hospital room, and staff it, in her home.

      • Ashley says:

        It’s true that she was fortunate due to her wealth to be able to stay home and still receive care. She got a lot of hate for that on another site that posted her comments, but the way I look at it is that by staying home and not going to the hospital, she preserved already limited resources and didn’t add to the overburdening of hospitals.

  2. Lightpurple says:

    I’m really looking forward to The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard. She stole every scene in the first one.

  3. Eleonor says:

    Usually I find her pretentiontious and out of touch, but I like what she is saying here.

  4. Jezz says:

    She’s one of my favs! I loved her in 30 rock, so doing comedy is obviously not a problem. I’m shocked she was so sick. I wish famous people had spoken up more (Prince William, too) last year to let anti-maskers understand how truly scary and bad Covid is.

    • Ellie says:

      I cannot imagine being (supposedly) deadly sick from a virus, having a multi-BILLION dollar budget to raise awareness and promote masking, social distancing, vaccination, etc… and instead just… posting bikini vacation pics on Instagram.

    • MsIam says:

      They have spoken up but when people are convinced of something, its like turning an ocean liner in a river. People have seen their own friends and family get desperately ill and even die and still won’t get the vaccine or wear a mask unless forced.

  5. Jkelly says:

    Her comment on woman not asking for raises hit close to home. At my previous job I found out that multiple men under me, that were less qualified, were being paid more than I was. I went to HR asking for a raise and was denied. I quite shortly after and was told that they were “disappointed in me” for leaving.

    • Sue Denim says:

      Good for you, so done w the gaslighting… I negotiated hard for a good salary once before joining a new org, and was later told by my older v chauvinistic male boss that another woman w similar skills was making a lot less than I was. I said, well, that’s her battle to fight. But I still went along trying to please this idiot for years. An idiot who by the way peter principled himself way beyond his capabilities.

    • lucy2 says:

      Ugh. I hope you responded that you were disappointed they paid you less than lower ranking male employees.
      I’d be curious to know if the women who work for Salma’s husband feel the same. I hope so!

    • SKF says:

      Yeah, she’s also missing some information. They did all those studies that showed that women don’t ask as often or for as much as men, and everyone went nuts saying we just need to build up women’s confidence.

      Then there were more studies done that showed that when women DO ask for these things they are often punished, whereas men are more often given them.

      So we don’t ask for a damn good reason.

      So it is systemic and everyone needs to be actively trained out of these subconscious attitudes and unconscious biases that lead to them not rewarding women the way they reward men.

      Also, waiting for employees to ask clearly isn’t good enough. We need to be actively going out and rewarding employees based on their performances, without them needing to ask. That is good management.

  6. jferber says:

    Actually, it’s worse than that. I’ve read research that says women DO ask for raises and are denied by their bosses. It’s a sexist truism that it’s women’s faults they don’t get raises because they don’t ask. Patriarchal bullshit. I’m in no way blaming Salma or her husband (though I do side-eye him) for this misapprehension.

    • iconoclast59 says:

      There’s a persistent mentality out there that women are working only for money to buy makeup and shoes, that they don’t “need” raises. But men, they have FAMILIES to support, don’cha know? Bosses don’t connect the dots to see that, regardless of how a woman’s paycheck is allocated, whether it be to pay the mortgage or to buy shoes, her income helps out the family’s bottom line regardless. Plus there’s the male ego to contend with. G-d forbid a man’s fee-fees be hurt by a woman out-earning him! I think a lot of bosses feel the need to protect men from feeling “p*ssy-whipped.”

      I have a male colleague who has exploited this ruthlessly. He started a year after me, but rose MUCH more quickly in the company than I did. That was because he ALWAYS reminded his boss about his family responsibilities: when a new baby was on the way, when he had to find a bigger house, when his kid needed surgery, etc. And every time he mentioned those things, a big fat raise or promotion followed. I finally caught up to him last year, but we were unequal for 10+ years, so I lost untold income in that interval.

  7. what's inside says:

    The first time I asked my male boss for a raise, it was denied. He then added “if you can do better else where.” I gave a 2-week notice as I already had another job offer.

  8. Jaded says:

    Well that’s rich about her “feminist” husband who had a lengthy legal battle with Linda Evangelista for withholding child support. Yes, Linda is wealthy in her own right but it’s his friggin’ child and he’s worth billions. Sorry, not sorry.

  9. Keke says:

    I’m glad she is ok.

    But the fact remains she’s known for being not a nice person and I don’t feel sorry for her.

    • Detnow359 says:

      I think she is being dramatic. “I’d rather die at home” is very different than the doctors thought I might die. She needed oxygen, which is bad enough so don’t get me wrong, but she didn’t say she was on a ventilator. Those patients were near death, especially in the early days of the pandemic when 80% on vents didn’t come off successfully.

  10. Ashley says:

    I question how “feminist” her husband is as he’s French and therefore that entire culture is inherently chauvinistic. As someone who has interacted with and dated French men for 7 years their mindset is so backwards it’s insane. Every day that I live in Paris I am shocked by how little anyone truly knows. This is a country that has a woman die by domestic violence something like 1 every day or every 3 days. It’s a shocking number. And a lot of it has to do with the French mindset. Feminism is not what it is in America.

    And also does her Gloria Steinheim husband give his female employees more opportunités? Or is this just a thought he shares with her and doesn’t practice? I’m curious because she always goes on and on about her perfect husband and it’s weird to me because a) he’s French and b) he’s incredibly wealthy in a country that doesn’t have as many billionaires as other countries so that means he (or his family) has stepped on a lot of people to be where he is. Those kinds of people aren’t usually known for their generous nature. I can’t even really recall many stories of him doing things for France in general, apart of from Notre Dame? And it’s usually when his family is trying to one up the Arnault’s.

    Didn’t he also treat Evangelista like crap? Yeah… Salma you protest too much.