Salma Hayek had so much fun filming the new action comedy “Here Comes the Boom” that the Mexican actress – whom fans may know best for her performance in dramatic films like “In the Time of Butterflies” and “Frida” – says that she might have to stick to laugh-out-loud movies from now on.
“I’m happy now so I like doing comedy – I like people to be happy, to laugh and this movie is definitely that,” says Hayek of the film, which hits theaters this Friday. “It’s so hard to find films that you can laugh to with your entire family and I think knowing that made this experience special. I know I love to go to the movies and forget about the problems of the world with my family.”
“Here Comes The Boom” – a comedy about a high school biology teacher who decides to become a mixed-martial arts fighter in order to raise funds for extracurricular activities at his bankrupt school with the support of the school’s nurse, played by Hayek – stars comedian Kevin James as the lead and TV actor Henry Winkler, both industry vets that Hayek says were a blast to work with.
“Henry’s just a sweetheart, so lovely and sweet,” remarks Hayek. As for James? Well, the hulking comedian might just be scared of Hayek, who packs quite a punch in a hilarious scene where she unexpectedly shows off her own action moves while on a romantic date with James’ character, Scott Voss.
“Our characters were just going to have a regular date but I really wanted to do some physical comedy – so I went for it,” said the “Savages” actress, who revealed that the impressive fight sequence between the petite actress and James was completely unscripted. “After a few false starts because we were cracking up so hard, all it took was one take to film me absolutely destroying the set and breaking a few things!”
In the film, Hayek’s character, Bella Flores, is a feisty, fiercely independent nurse who repeatedly turns down dates from James’ character until his sacrifice for the school wins her over. And although Hayek made saying a firm “no” her signature in the film, the actress says she wishes she had been better at turning down men during her single days.
“I was so awful,” explained Hayek, who married French businessman Francois-Henry Pinault in 2009. “I would always say yes because I was worried about hurting their feelings – and of course I’d end up hurting them more later on! I’ve learned that men really have to earn that ‘yes.’”
As for the way her character eventually falls in love and makes the ultimate romantic gesture by flying cross-country to support her new love in his ambitious, high-stakes Las Vegas fight; well, Hayek says she understands the gesture.
“I’ve done crazy things for love,” said Hayek. “I live in Paris now – the ultimate flight away from home!”
But while Hayek has a few things in common with character Bella Flores (“We’re both strong women and I believe all women are strong deep down, says Hayek. “Although some women just use their weakness as a strength, which I don’t think is right”), there is one thing that she loves about her – Bella’s ability to live and love with anonymity.
“I don’t let being noticed stop me,” divulged Hayek, who says despite her fame, she takes four-year-old daughter Valentina Paloma on regular trips to Disneyland. “But if I could, my dream would be to give my daughter the experience of going to a really public place where we don’t have to worry about being photographed or being noticed.”
“I’d love to give that experience to her more than anything.”