Salma Hayek's Struggle Against Being Stereotyped in Hollywood

Aired on 09/19/2003 | CC tv-pg
Already a huge telenovela star in her native country of Mexico, Salma Hayek came to Los Angeles in 1991, bringing her talents to the world's entertainment capital. She faced two challenges: her accent and her looks.

First, she was told that a Latina couldn't get a leading role in a Hollywood movie and would likely end up playing a maid. The advice was given by people who thought they were being helpful, Salma explained to Oprah during her 2003 appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Then, as Salma began to catch on in Hollywood, she says that she was reduced to a sex object so often that it began to depress her. "I felt like they couldn't see past that," she told Oprah, "and women are so much more than a symbol of sensuality."

Here, she opens up about how she came to terms with the "sexy bombshell" label.