Latin-American Actress and Activist Salma Hayek Opens Up About Power, Womanhood and Fighting Her Way to Success

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In Special Hispanic Heritage Issue of AARP, she shares how she approaches aging, navigates Hollywood, and more.

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, AARP The Magazine sat down with October/November cover star Salma Hayek to discuss her inspiring journey, advocacy and career in Hollywood. In a wide-ranging interview, the 55-year-old Latin-American multi-hyphenate details her latest projects, both behind and in front of the screen, and the importance of portraying female experiences such as menopause as authentically as possible.

After surviving a near-death COVID-19 scare, Hayek has returned to the screen with numerous projects including “Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard,” “Eternals,” and the upcoming “House of Gucci.” She continues to pursue women-driven narratives with her company, Ventanarosa, as well as undertaking additional humanitarian and advocacy initiatives. A devoted mother, Hayek is also working to instill her desire to help others in her own children.

The following are excerpts from ATM’s October/November 2021 cover story featuring Salma Hayek. The issue is available in homes starting in October and online now at

On being a humanist:

“I am a feminist, but that’s not why I work with women. I work with them because I’m a humanist. And if men were the ones who were not given the same human rights, I’d be fighting for them.”

On diversity in the industry:

“‘We’ve got the Latino box checked; we’ve got the African American box checked.’ It’s an acknowledgment that these voices are important, and that I applaud. But I wish we could find a space where people feel, My voice also has to do with you, and your voice also has to do with me.”

On authentic portrayal of the experience of menopause:

“When I was going through menopause myself, I wondered, How come nobody talks about this in the movies?

On her experience with COVID-19:

“I realized that we are so fragile—not just as individuals but collectively. I was thinking more about the global experience than about my own personal mortality, because this is what a pandemic forces you to do.”

On learning how to find the right opportunities and being grateful for every experience:

“I learned every single day from every single person on the crew … even the bad movies gave me so much. They also gave me the humbleness to say, ‘OK, it’s not going to advance my career. But thank you for allowing me to pay my rent.’”