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April 18, 2007

Salma Hayek: Hot Mama!

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MC: What's the biggest reason women won't leave an abusive relationship?
SH: By the time a woman starts getting physically abused, she's already cut off any support system around her. She's lost her friends, she's alone. And if she's an immigrant, she's afraid she'll be deported and lose her kids.

MC: Have you ever been in an abusive relationship?
SH: All of us have been made to feel worthless, emotionally or intellectually. Every single one of us has been there.

MC: Hollywood shapes our ideas about how women should be treated. When you first got to L.A., what did you think about the roles being offered to you?
SH: I thought I was coming to this amazing place, where projects would just fall out of the trees. I was quite shocked to read the scripts being made.

MC: Were you typecast in certain roles because you're Mexican?
SH: Yes, but I was also lucky. I started out in Hollywood at the same time as Jennifer Lopez. Before us, Latinas only had roles that were part of the backdrop, as the maid or the prostitute. We changed that. Of course, you're always looking for those Meryl Streep parts, but I am grateful for the things I did. Look at where we are now: sixteen Oscar nominations for films by Mexican directors this year [and four wins].

MC: Adversity seems to only make you stronger. What's something you've recently overcome?
SH: I quit smoking three weeks ago. I used to have a terrible judgment of smokers. I was like, Why do they do this? It tastes bad, it's going to kill them, and it doesn't even get them high. It's the shittiest vice you could possibly pick. Then I got hooked during Frida. I've tried to quit before. But this time I'm done with it. I've changed. I know I can do it. I've reinvented myself a thousand times-it keeps me from getting bored of myself.

Join SALMA and MARIE CLAIRE in the fight to end domestic violence
For the past year, Marie Claire has been co-chair of the National Domestic Violence Summit, a gathering of leaders in fields ranging from entertainment to business, which seeks to create a 10-year plan to reduce violence against women. Together with Salma Hayek, an honoree of the Summit, we urge you to help end domestic violence. Go to ndvh.org for ways to take action in your community.

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