Salma Hayek and Pierce Brosnan on After the Sunset
Salma Hayek and Pierce Brosnan are great together in After the Sunset. They have fantastic chemistry and it makes the movie very entertaining. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way when you have to interview them both at the same time. Publicity paired them up and gave us ten minutes for the interview. What follows is a rambling discourse of blurted out questions and hurried answers, cleaned up for your reading pleasure. They were both quite amiable, but ten minutes with two movie stars doesn't amount to much. Enjoy the brevity.
You spend almost as much time in bed with Woody Harrelson as you do with Salma.
Pierce Brosnan: (laughs) No, not quite as much as Salma. Salma wins hands down. That was our first day of work, the sequence with Woody and I. I thought it was pretty silly, but it's endearing and engaging. Kind of messes with peoples heads.
Did that set the tone for the film?
Pierce Brosnan: I thought it was great. I had a blast working on this picture. Why, because of Salma, because of Woody, because of Brett [Ratner, the director]. When I read this text, I thought there was potential. I thought there were legs to the piece, something entertaining, a heist movie, a romance movie, a buddy movie. Thank heavens for Brett and the company of actors.
Salma Hayek: It was the first day and I wasn't working. I came to spy on them. I was really nervous about the movie and the tone of the movie. I walked in and saw them. It was so funny. Immediately, I (deeply exhales) get it. We're going to be alright, because there are some movies that if they have three or four scenes that are memorable enough, you think it's worth it. I have to go see it.
You weren't worried about competing with Woody for Pierce's affection?
Salma Hayek: (laughs) No, I was worried about the movie. I'm a worrier, the tone, how is it? Is it funny? Is it too funny? Then I saw them and was relaxed. It was funny and like he said, endearing, there was something endearing about them.
There's no nudity in the film, but there's a lot of skin. You guys are running around half naked...
Salma Hayek: We were in the Bahamas! What do you want me to wear, clothes? It was hot in there! (laughs) Are you complaining?
No, not at all, I'm for seeing you in less clothes. The yoga scene, the scene in the tub, obviously was made to be titillating. What were those scenes like?
Pierce Brosnan: Of course, this is about turning people on. People want to see something like this. It's cold, it's winter time, we've gone though a big election, a hard election. You go to the movies, put down ten bucks, then you go to the Bahamas and see people have a great time.
Salma Hayek: Sipping cocktails, listening to music, stealing diamonds. It's a happy feeling.
You play a little of a femme fatale. You're not luring men to their doom, but do you like that sort of thing? Do you like playing the sexy siren?
Salma Hayek: No, I have a completely different perspective about it. I do like a lot what I see in it. She's not trying to lure men, she's madly in love with her man. And I highly recommend for all the women in the world, even if they're 71, you can never take for granted that he loves you. It's always good to flirt with him. It's a great sport.
Pierce Brosnan: Flirting is definitely great.
Salma Hayek: I think it's not a femme fatale when someone is not doing it to manipulate men or be like a black widow. She loves him. She does it out of love. She wants him so badly to stay with her. I think it's nice for women to try to be sexy for their man.
It was interesting how both of your characters reacted to having all this freedom and money. Can you talk about being a celebrity, where freedom and money are easier to come by?
Pierce Brosnan: I like to work. As a man and an actor, I like to work. I like to stay busy. I think that's what drives me, staying in tune with the creative process of being an actor. I think going off to paradise is an illusion. There's no such thing as paradise. It's in your heart. It's how you address people, live in the world that has been given to you or you've created for yourself. This is a fantasy piece, but I like that. He has this beautiful woman. He has everything at his fingertips. He has wealth from his wicked ways, his thievery, and yet, like a lot of men that do these heists, they want an adrenaline rush. It's a drug, an addiction, just one last job. I kind of liked trying to find that aspect of the man.
Salma Hayek: For me, I have to say that I like to work a lot too, but I like not working better. The perfect scenario is when you just worked and you know something's coming up, then you have four, five, six months off. But you know you're going to have a job later. Then it's like heaven. That is paradise, when you get to take time off and have fun. I'm good at working, but I'm very good at playing.
What do you like to do when you're off? Would you build a deck like your character?
Salma Hayek: I liked it. I've never done it before. It was a small scene, but a bought some machinery for the farm. I'm going to try to do chairs and stuff.
Pierce Brosnan: Really? Get out of here.
Salma Hayek: Yes, because my brother knows how to do it. He'll teach me. You know what I do? I'm free. One day I sit and watch five movies on television and do nothing but eat. The next day, I decide to take a trip. I have a farm and I love it there. There's really nothing to do, but even watching the chickens, its fun. You have no AD [assistant director] saying, it's time to get back, she's going to the bathroom, watching every move, paying attention to everything. It's just nice to enjoy life, even if it's simple. I don't go to clubs. I like the simplicity of life, which is what my character tries to do.
There are very few movies with half naked man and the camera panning around them. In your films, the camera focuses on your body. How does that make you feel when you watch them?
Salma Hayek: I look at the camera move. I'm completely fascinated by it. I'm interested in camera movement, the lighting. It would be atrocious if it was just me there and the camera didn't move. I like films a lot. I like the technical. I like to learn. When I look at a film, I'm not so self-conscious, I actually watch the film. Even if I know what's going to happen, I get into it. I have to watch it a second time to look at myself. While I'm making it, I'm obsessed with myself, but when I'm watching it I relax and laugh, be a part of the crowd.
Both of you have been on both sides of the camera. Do you see yourselves working more on the filmmaking side than acting?
Pierce Brosnan: I certainly do. I've been in this business since I was 18. I'm at a point in my life where I'm transitioning away from a character that is hugely identified with me. So what do you do? How do you find pieces that will challenge you? How do you mix and match? Do something like After the Sunset, do a character piece like The Matador or the Evelyn's of the world. It's about keeping up the choices. Luckily, I still have the passion and desire. I don't know about directing. I love finding the text, brining the company of people together, and creating a world for them to have a good time.
Salma Hayek: I'm enjoying acting right now, but I might get bored of it and not want to do it again.
Can you both talk about your upcoming films, The Matador and Bandidas?
Salma Hayek: I can talk about The Matador, he showed me pieces of it. It's really good and you've never seen him like this.
Pierce Brosnan: We are going to go to the Sundance festival with it. It's just been picked up. It plays opening night and I'm very proud of that. I always wanted to be in a film at Sundance and had that laurel leaf on the bottom. This young director, Richard Shepard, sent us the script as a writing sample for Thomas Crown 2. It was so good, we said let's make it. We went to Mexico City, Greg Kinnear and myself...
Salma Hayek: You will be shocked.
Pierce Brosnan: It's a character piece.
Salma, are you going to do the sequel to Pirates of the Caribbean?
Salma Hayek: No, I'm doing a film with Penelope Cruz called Bandidas. That's just gossip.
Dont't forget to also check out: After The Sunset