Oprah: Yes, you can—you're talking to the right woman! I'm doing mine, too. I just found this stone from an old castle in Italy, and it was laid out the way it's going to be laid on my bathroom floor. The other day I was just standing there going, "Who has walked on this stone?" And I was picturing myself walking around the bathroom, in the tub, getting out on the stone, with my towels here and my chaise there. And I'm telling you, this is what matters.

Salma: At night I wake up and think, "What color will make me feel better when I soak in the bathtub for an hour?" I want everyone who's dreaming of a glamorous life to know that I'd trade a good bath any day for the heels, the hair, the makeup, the tight dresses, the photographs, the small talk.

Oprah: My favorite thing in life is a good bath!

Salma: We have to keep remodeling because we keep evolving. And of course my house really belongs to my dogs, so when I redecorate, I have to think of them.

Oprah: I actually have a dog room.

Salma: I'm not that rich, but maybe one day. My brother is a brilliant furniture designer, and he says, "For those dogs, I need to make you marble seats." My dogs are that mischievous!

Oprah: I have a dog that followed me home, and he's like 10 years old now. I said, "You don't know how lucky you are!" How many dogs do you have?

Salma: Two girls—I picked them up from the street in Mexico City, where they were so sick that they had no hair. Now I'm getting a third.

Oprah: It'll be hard to take in another girl—girl dogs don't accept other girl dogs.

Salma: Isn't it sad? In our world, women also don't support other women enough—how often do we really work together to make a difference? We are sometimes so vicious toward one another. We want to be independent women, but we really don't know who we are as women. It's about us taking control, because we tend to just blame. We complain about the world, but we are still not loving toward other women.

Oprah: Oh, it's so true! Did you ever feel threatened by other Latin actresses?

Salma: Because there was no industry or parts for Latin women when I came here, there was really no competitiveness. Jennifer Lopez and I were the first, and I think Jennifer was my partner at the beginning. I think it was important for others to see two of us, because maybe then we could be thought of as a social phenomenon. Because she doesn't have a foreign accent, Jennifer tried out for parts I couldn't get. There are now others with accents—Penélope Cruz, Antonio Banderas—but mind you, Antonio and Penélope are from Europe, not Mexico. It's only now that the taboo on Mexicans is lifting as Americans realize we're a little bit more than migrant workers. I hear some Latinos say, "Oh, no, no, no, the cliché that we are gang members, that's so bad—we have to show everyone that we're family people." Hello? That's another cliché! It's getting yourself out of one box to put yourself in another. The way to fight a cliché is not by creating another one. What breaks the cliché is the emergence of strong individuals. That's the way to say, "You don't really know us—so when you look at me, or when you look at my sister, just be completely open for whatever. You have no clue who we are!" Here people don't know what box to put me in to. I'm not from the Bronx, I'm not from East L.A., so they don't know how to take me or what to call me!


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