Salma Hayek Said This Was the Hardest Sex Scene She Ever Had to Film

Hayek said she "started to sob" while trying to get through the difficult scene.

Salma Hayek has been a sought-after leading lady—and frequent romantic lead—in movies and TV shows alike for the better part of three decades. However, the actor recently revealed that not all of her on-screen romances have been easy. During a recent interview with Dax Shepard on his Armchair Expert podcast, Hayek said that one particular sex scene was so difficult for her to film that she could barely get through it.

Hayek explained that her sex scene with co-star Antonio Banderas in 1995's Desperado—the second installment in director Robert Rodriguez's Mexico Trilogy, and Hayek's first major role in an English language film—nearly pushed her to her breaking point.

"I started to sob, 'I don't know that I can do it. I'm afraid,'" Hayek told Shepard. Read on to discover why Hayek had such a hard time filming the scene, and for more celebrities taking a hard line on stripping down on set, see why Keira Knightley Says She'll Only Do Sex Scenes in These Circumstances.

Banderas and Rodriguez did their best to lighten the mood on set.

antonio banderas and salma hayek dancing on red carpet
Shutterstock/Jaguar PS

Hayek explained that both Rodriguez and Banderas did their best to ensure that she felt safe during the scene, but that their attempts to lighten the mood did little to make her feel better.

"They would try to make me laugh. I would take [my towel] off for two seconds and start crying again," said Hayek. "But we got through it. We did the best with what we could do at the time." And for the latest celebrity news delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Hayek said she was "afraid" of Banderas' ease on set.

salma hayek and antonio banderas on a red carpet
Shutterstock/Featureflash Photo Agency

While Hayek called Banderas an "absolute gentleman" during filming, noting that the two remain close to this day, she explained that her co-star's seeming comfort with the whole process only made things worse. "He was very free. It scared me that for him, it was like nothing," Hayek said. "I started crying, and he was like, 'Oh my god. You're making me feel terrible.' And I was so embarrassed that I was crying."

The actor kept thinking about her family during filming.

salma hayek in a blue gown standing next to her brother sammy on a red carpet
Shutterstock/Featureflash Photo Agency

It wasn't just the idea of stripping down in front of the film's cast and crew that put Hayek on edge. In fact, the star said that it was the thought of her family eventually seeing the film that loomed large in her mind. "I keep thinking of my father and my brother," said Hayek (pictured here with her brother, Sami Hayek). "Are they going to see it? And are they going to get teased?"

Hayek said that she thinks there's a double standard when it comes to how male and female nudity are perceived. "Guys don't have that," said the actor. "Your father will be, 'Yeah! That's my son!'" And for more  on the complexities of onscreen sex scenes, check out Kaley Cuoco Says "Big Bang" Gave Her Love Scenes With Her Ex "On Purpose."

Hayek said the scene was only added after she'd already committed to the movie.

salma hayek waving and smiling
Shutterstock/Denis Makarenko

While Hayek went through with the scene in the end, she said that she had no knowledge it would be part of the movie when she agreed to the role. "It was not in the original script," Hayek told Elle in a 2020 interview, noting the scene was added following her screen test. "I was already like, 'No, that was not in there the first time.'"

At the film's premiere, Hayek and her family left the theater during her sex scene.

Salma Hayek
Shutterstock

Luckily, Hayek never had to find out how her family might react to seeing her sex scene.

"I walked out of the premiere when they played it and I took my brother, father, and mother with me. I didn't want any of them to see it," Hayek told Elle. "They were happy to walk out right away and then we came back again." And for the story behind another difficult scene, see why one "Game of Thrones" Star Calls This Scene "The Worst Day of My Career."

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