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Interview: Salma Hayek

Time Out Kids spoke to the mom and leading lady about her new movie Puss in Boots, her daughter's brutal honesty and her family's favorite city haunts.

One of Hollywood's most bewitching leading ladies, Salma Hayek has dazzled in such hit films as Desperado, Fools Rush In and Frida—for which she earned an Oscar nomination as the legendary Mexican painter. She's also successfully conquered the small screen as a producer of the Emmy Award--winning Ugly Betty. Now the mom of four-year-old Valentina is costarring with her longtime collaborator Antonio Banderas in their fifth film together, Puss in Boots, in theaters November 4. Time Out Kids spoke to Hayek about the Shrek prequel, her daughter's brutal honesty and her family's favorite city haunts.

What message do you hope kids and parents take from the film?
I just want families to spend time together, watching the movie. That makes my heart smile. And I think that kids will fall in love with Puss in Boots because he's so adorable.  

Audiences will get to meet other new characters, too.
Yes. It's not the same land that they were in in Shrek. It's not the same characters. It's not the same kind of jokes. It's a completely different world, but it's still very, very funny. 

Can you tell us a little bit about your character, Kitty Softpaws?
She's very savvy, very smart and she's always giving Puss in Boots a hard time because she has to always be right about everything. They have great chemistry. My character is a very versatile. She can dance, she can fight, she can steal—she has all kinds of talents. 


Rumor has it that you're more of a dog person than a cat person. 
I'm not one of those people that likes dogs but not cats. I love all animals. I have ten dogs, five horses, two guinea pigs, four parrots, four ducks, four alpacas.... I'm missing something... Yes, I have one cat without a tail that my dog rescued.


Wow. That's quite a menagerie!
Even though it's a minority in the animals I have right now, I've always adored cats. When I was a little girl I used to pick up stray cats and give them food. I started to become a crazy cat lady. I remember I hid one little kitten that I found alone in the street and I would take it to school. Animals come to you when they know you like animals. I had a wild bird in Paris that just came, sat on my shoulder and stayed with me. If I showed you pictures, you still wouldn't believe it. I had to kick him out because Valentina was jealous that I was spending so much time with this wild bird, but I think he still visits sometimes.

Has your daughter seen the Shrek movies and Puss in Boots?
Yes, she loves all the movies. And I trust her opinion. You know kids don't lie. Yes, she tells me all the time: "Mom, you are the most beautiful woman in the world...next to Selena Gomez. She's number one. You're number two."

What are your daughter's favorite places in New York City?
FAO Schwarz has storytime. Valentina has been going since she was six months old and she loves it. Now they have this huge piano, too. It's a terrible commercial, I ought to be ashamed, but you know what? When it's a rainy day and it's after five o'clock because they close the museums, toy stores—even if you don't buy anything—can be very entertaining. She also loves the Children's Museum of Manhattan. She thinks it's Dora's house. As soon as the plane lands, she says, "Let's go to Dora's house." 

You do a lot of charity work for mothers.
A percentage of my income goes to microfinancing for single mothers around the world. And I'm on the board of a foundation that my husband [Franois-Henri Pinault] created that works against domestic violence.

What's next for you?
I am shooting a movie with Oliver Stone right now, I launched a beauty line at CVS—that's doing amazingly well—and I'm still producing. 





















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