Salma Hayek in Americano
Not to spoil anything for the audience—but Salma Hayek plays a stripper in a Tijuana brothel. What was it like shooting her steamy pole-dancing scene?
It was pretty tricky, because I had it in my mind to do it all in one take. She had sprained her ankles a couple weeks before the shoot, so she could hardly stand up and couldn’t do the conventional pole tricks. I thought, “shit!” this is the end of my movie, but she was really courageous and a real trooper. We still found a way to make the scene sensual and special; it was kind of a magic moment.
Did you write the character with her in mind?
Yeah, I actually wrote it for her. I didn’t know her personally, but I was looking for a Mexican woman my age, who is really hot. At some point, I knew it was Salma Hayek.
Directing versus acting: do you tap into different parts of your brain?
I guess so. Acting is on an instinctive level, while directing is more intellectual. It’s also an issue of responsibility. When you act, you're protected by a character and a script. So acting is more like a kid—it’s playful. As a director, you're much more exposed; it's about growing up and being an adult.
Totally off topic, but you sort of have this Clive Owen thing about you. Do you hear that a lot?
No, but I’m really flattered by it. I’m going to post on my Facebook wall, “I’m the French Clive Owen – so beware.”
Myth or Fact: Are French men serial seducers?
You’ve got to come to Paris.
Americano opens in theaters June 15.
Photo: courtesy of MPI Pictures/Les Film de l’Autre