Oprah: I'd call you the smartest 36-year-old I've ever met. I know you're now directing your own television movie, The Maldonado Miracle. What was it like to direct for the first time?
Salma: I loved it—and before I decided to direct, everybody tried to scare me by saying how difficult it would be. I have recipes more difficult than directing! Haven't you directed a movie?
Salma: It's time! Women represent only 10 percent of all directors.
Oprah: So it didn't frighten you at all?
Salma: A little beforehand, because everyone said how tormented directors can be. I've never enjoyed something so much in my life!
Oprah: Does anything frighten you, Salma?
Salma: Ignorance in certain places frightens me. The political situation of the world frightens me. Political anger around the globe frightens me. The lack of love in the world frightens me. Violence frightens me.
Oprah: You are really good! What else is next for you?
Salma: I want to direct a movie in Mexico, in Spanish. The story is about how when we're really young, our dreams are colorful and big and abstract and interesting and imaginative. As the realities of life hit, our dreams become so common.
Oprah: They shrink. And you know why your idea is so fascinating? Because many people reading this will realize their own dreams have shrunk.
Salma: Yes. To dream big doesn't necessarily mean to imagine becoming the biggest movie star in the world. Dreaming big is about taking the simplest thing in life and enjoying it—and seeing it as the biggest thing that can possibly exist.
Oprah: Which is exactly why you enjoy decorating your bathroom.
Salma: Exactly. I work in an industry that is the first to kill this ability because everything is so celebrity oriented. I am part of a cancer. In my world, you have to be so beautiful, so skinny, so rich, so famous—and I don't believe you really have to be any of those things. You simply have to be who you are.
Oprah: Isn't that easy for you to say when you're beautiful?
Salma: Yes, I'm beautiful—