The incident Salma
as “the most precious comedy moment I’ve ever seen in my life,”
in the Bahamas on the set of her new film, After the Sunset, a
heist yarn from director Brett Ratner (Red Dragon, the Rush
films). “I was having this sexy moment with Pierce,” recalls the
actor, referring to her costar, Irish–born leading man Pierce Brosnan.
“I’m wearing a very slinky nightgown, lying next to him in bed. He
a phone call, hangs up, and then turns around to kiss me and we start
out. Well, we did it a couple of times and then Brett [Ratner] and I
this conspiracy. We managed to switch places while Pierce is making the
“So I put the phone
says with a sigh, reluctantly picking up the story, “and I turn around
to kiss this beautiful creature and there instead is the big mug of
Ratner beaming in my face.”
“Pierce jumped out
of the bed screaming
like he just saw a ghost,” says Hayek, guffawing at the memory. “It
a while to be able to get back to work because everybody was in
“Brett took great
joy in showing
the dailies that day,” mutters Brosnan.
“We watched it over
and over,” giggles
Hayek. “It must be on the DVD!”
Hayek and Brosnan
hope the fun they
had making After the Sunset
rubs off on movie audiences. “These are
dramatic times,” muses Hayek, whose previous films include Once
a Time in Mexico, Wild Wild West, and Frida, for which she
nominated for a best actress Oscar. “I think people want to see things
that take their mind off everything that is going on and make them feel
Brosnan seconds the
motion. “It has
a good kind of popcorn-movie feel to it, if we got it right,” says the
actor, who has starred in the last four James Bond films as well as The
Thomas Crown Affair, Laws of Attraction, and Evelyn. “It’s
and hopefully entertaining and funny. And I think Salma is one of the
beautiful women in film today. Her Latin blood, my Irish blood—I think
it’s a nice cocktail.”
We’ll drink to
Pierce, we know what cracked Salma up. What was the funniest moment of
shooting for you?
I think the day that Woody Harrelson and Brett Ratner went hammer and
at each other. That was highly amusing, and a day that never can be
LAC: So the
rumor that they
came to blows is true?
I think everybody in the business heard about it.
They just had a kind of mild interaction across the water, then Woody
to do his best Errol Flynn, mounting the galleon and trying to punch
lights out, I think. They are old friends so it was hard to tell
it was for real or staged. I think they just wanted to have the day
they get the day
[Laughing] No, we carried on shooting.
have been attached
to After the Sunset for some time. What attracted you to the
I liked the idea of a heist movie with an ensemble cast. Thank God,
Ratner stepped into the mix. He really elevated it above the normal
piece that it was. When we got him, we got a picture with real style
panache. He just gets everybody jazzed up.
appealed to you,
I wanted to do something fun and happy, but also dangerous and funny.
nice incentive is that I have been very good friends with Woody
for many years. And since it was shooting in the Bahamas, I could dive
every day. I have been a diver since I was 12.
I didn’t do any diving, but I had my family there; we went sailing and
fishing. We lived right on the water so it was a very pleasurable
LAC: Can we
expect any steamy
sex scenes between you two, à la The Thomas Crown Affair?
We are already an item when the movie starts. It is sexy but it is a
different tone. It’s very funny and slick. It is the Bahamas. The tone
is a little more relaxed and reggae, you know.
I play a thief, but he is not as closed off and austere as Crown was.
much more accessible.
was your reaction
when you heard that the other was going to star in the movie?
I was thrilled. I thought it was a perfect choice. I think Salma is
who is just coming into her own. What she did with Frida was
We got on famously.
I have been wanting to work with Pierce for a long time. He has a great
sense of humor and he’s really easygoing and very professional. We had
a lot of good laughs.
plot of After
the Sunset revolves around a diamond heist. Are diamonds really a
best friend, Salma?
not like Liz Taylor about diamonds, but I like them, yeah.
have you worn the
most diamonds to an event?
When I was starting out, I was lucky enough to go to Cannes. A company
wanted me to wear its jewelry. I had more than $4 million or some
amount of money in jewelry on me. The company insisted it would take
of the car, the security—everything. We went to the premiere and it
like I was the biggest star in Cannes because there was so much
I mean, there were bodyguards running next to the limo. It was like
big to-do. So in the middle of the party, I got bored with the earrings
because they were so heavy; I took the jewelry off and gave it to one
the bodyguards, then I started dancing. All of a sudden, I realized
had all left. The minute I gave the diamonds back, the security was
my car was gone—everything was gone. It was all about the diamonds. I
to get a ride back to the hotel.
My first year at the Oscars, my wife, Keely, had about a million on one
ear and a million on the other. At one point, we stood up together to
somebody—I think it was Sidney Poitier—a standing ovation. Suddenly,
went, “Oh my God! One of the earrings has fallen off!” The next thing
know, we’re on our hands and knees with Donald Trump and his girlfriend
grappling around for this earring.
tell us you found
Luckily the audience clapped long and loud enough to give us time to
the earring, but it was not a pleasant experience. I mean, you got a
of greenbacks hanging off your ear there.
how much did the
success of Frida change your career?
Drastically. After Frida, I directed a movie for Showtime, The
Maldonado Miracle. Then I started working again as an actor, and I
haven’t stopped. I just finished a movie in South Africa with Colin
directed by Robert Towne, called Ask the Dust. Now it looks
I’m going to Mexico to do a movie with my friend Penélope
LAC: Speaking of
seminal roles, Pierce,
you recently announced that you were finished playing James Bond…
There was no announcement. I think the reporter heard it wrong. I think
what I said was, “I’ve had my fill of talking about Bond.”
there was not an official
announcement that you were finished doing Bond films?
It was not an official announcement.
LAC: So what
is next for you?
A black comedy called The Matador, which comes out in the
Now I’m looking at drama scripts. I want to do something that has some
meat on it.
LAC: Do you
like to go out
much when you’re in LA?
Yes. I have not been in town for nearly a year now and I have been
to visit some of the new restaurants everybody is talking about. I am
to rediscover Los Angeles because I really think it’s growing in the
direction. A lot of people complain about Los Angeles and say, “Oh
is nothing to do.” I always find things to do.
My wife and I usually stay in Malibu, but when we do go into town, we
go to the theater. We’ll go to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion or the
Bowl and make a weekend of it.
think the city is improving culturally; like right now, at the science
museum, there is this exhibition about the human body that I can’t wait
to see. All this time I’ve been away, I’ve really missed Los Angeles.
home to me. I love the quality of life here. I get to have a garden and
flowers and vegetables and dogs. I walk out in the morning and look at
my roses, how they develop.
was your first impression
of Hollywood when you arrived here?
Magic, sheer magic. I loved it as soon as I landed at LAX. I just loved
America. You could be anything and do anything you wanted. I got into
rented a car from Rent-A-Wreck, and went to my very first interview,
was for Remington Steele, and I got the job. I felt lucky. It
very much the classic American dream for me.
SH: I really had
no expectations of
Hollywood. I was
when I came here, but I have to say, I liked it from the beginning.
a lot more difficult for Mexican actors obviously, but that has been
quite nicely too. When I was starting out, there was nothing in terms
roles and now there are lot more, definitely.
there specific films
that you saw growing up that inspired you to pursue a career in movies?
I saw Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory when I was a
girl and I still have an emotional attachment to it. It was amazing to
me that there was a place where the river could be made of
the flowers made of candy—and you could chew a piece of gum and
and then burp yourself back to earth. It really dawned on me that there
was a place where you could be anything, and anything could happen, and
that’s in the movies. They’re remaking it now, and when I have children
I’ll show them both versions.
When I was a teenager, I thought Bonnie and Clyde was really
of the most incredible films I had ever seen. Warren Beatty, Steve
Clint Eastwood—they really inspired me.
would you describe
this time in your life?
This is one of the happiest, most productive times of my life. It’s
being 50, 51, in the middle of life, looking back at a series of
and achievements. I’ve overcome heartaches and not been beaten down by
them and I’m thinking ahead to more movies, painting, producing.
SH: It’s a very
busy time in my
life, but at the
same time, it’s
a very, very nice time in many ways. I’ve come a long way and I
that every day.