Salma Hayek says filming her nude scene in Desperado was "traumatizing." The actress has admitted in the past that the Robert Rodriguez movie changed her life, making her a household name in the process, and she is still grateful. Hayek had seen Rodriguez's 1992 movie El Mariachi, and new right from then that they were destined to work together at some point. That moment came with 1995's Desperado, though there were some struggles for the actress to get an audition.
Salma Hayek landed the Desperado role and quickly became friends with Robert Rodriguez and his then-wife, producer Elizabeth Avellán. When production began, there was no mention of a love scene between Hayek's Carolina and Antonio Banderas' El Mariachi, claims the actress in a new interview with Dax Shepard and Monica Padman. Since she was close with Rodriguez and Avellán, Hayek agreed to do the scene, but with only four people present on set. Hayek, Banderas, Avellán, and Rodrigues were the only people on the set during those two hours.
When it came time to shoot the Desperado love scene, Salma Hayek started to get nervous. "We were going to start shooting, I started to sob," Hayek said, while going on to note that she kept saying, "I don't know that I can do it. I'm afraid." The actress maintains that Robert Rodriguez and Antonio Banderas "were amazing" on the set, stating that the director never put any pressure on her while they were filming the scene. Doing nude scenes on a movie set isn't something that a lot of actor and actresses feel comfortable doing, especially in front of various crew members.
As time went on, Salma Hayek found herself feeling more and more uncomfortable with filming the nude scene. "One of the things I was afraid of was Antonio - he was an absolute gentleman and so nice, and we're still super close friends - but he was very free," says Hayek when looking back. "It scared me that for him, it was like nothing. 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." In the end, Banderas and Rodriguez tried to lighten the mood by making jokes, which helped Hayek for little stints of time.
Salma Hayek says she would remove her towel and be nude for a few seconds, but then she would begin crying again and put the towel back on. However they were all able to get her comfortable enough to finish the scene. "But we got through it. We did the best with what we could do at the time," she says now. In the final scene, it is made up of a bunch of quick edits, which was due to Hayek being uncomfortable with being nude on screen. She explains.
"When you're not you, then you can do it. But I keep thinking of my father and my brother... And are they going to see it? And are they going to get teased? Guys don't have that. Your father will be, 'Yeah! That's my son!'"
When Desperado did hit theaters, Salma Hayek took her brother and father to see the movie. However, she admits to leaving the theater during the nude 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. They were happy to walk out right away and then we came back again. I don't think they noticed anything," Hayek said. You can listen to the rest of the interview with Salma Hayek over at the Armchair Expert Podcast.