Salma Hayek Said Directors Once Told Her to "Sound Dumber"

Among other things.

Salma Hayek was the star of a huge telenovela back in 1989, but in a new interview, she explained that when she made the big move stateside to try her hand at the American market, directors didn't believe that she was actually a trained actor. According to, in a new interview for Total Film, directors told Hayek to "speak faster" and "sound dumber."

While Hayek doesn't single out any specific directors, she does say that she rarely had the opportunity to show everything that she could do. She adds that her lack of English skills along with her dyslexia made it tough to land roles, but often, she simply wasn't taken seriously.

"Unfortunately, I never had a lot of chances to do parts where I could use a lot of the things I learned," Hayek said. "I've had directors say to me, 'Dumber and faster. Sound dumber and speak faster!'"

Salma Hayek Total Film Sound Dumber
Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Getty Images

She went on to add that when she was taking acting classes, she "could never miss a class." And it wasn't only her. Her classmates — and teacher — took everything just as seriously as she did. She recalled a story about a fellow thespian in training that got sick and subsequently got kicked out of class. After all, the show must go on.

"One time, one of the people in the class didn't come and showed up after three days with a paper from the doctor. He came over to him and said, 'Is that your death certificate?' He said, 'No.' And he said, 'You can walk out and never come back,'" she said of one particular teacher. "If you're doing theater will you go to the audience and say you were sick? You were not sick enough. If you were in the hospital, I'd understand, but two days in bed… don't show up with that paper to my class. This is not a joke. You are either committed to this class or you don't belong here.'"

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