Salma Hayek Says ‘Desperado’ Sex Scene Needed to Be Shot a Certain Way for Her to Get Through It

Salma Hayek is an A-List actor who in the eyes of fans appears to play every role she takes on effortlessly and with ease, but that wasn’t always the case. In fact, Hayek revealed that she had a hard time doing that steamy love scene with Antonio Banderas in the movie Desperado.

Salma Hayek at the The Roads Not Taken premiere
Salma Hayek at the The Roads Not Taken premiere | Gisela Schober/Getty Images

Hayek said she struggled so much that certain adjustments had to be made for her to get through it. Here’s what the star said needed to be done in order for her to be able to film the sex scene.

What is ‘Desperado’ about?

Desperado is an action flick that was released in 1995. It was written, directed, and produced by Robert Rodriguez. The film is the second installment of the Mexico Trilogy and picks up where Rodriguez’s El Mariachi left off.

Banderas plays El Mariachi, a former musician out for revenge on a drug lord who killed his lover. Hayek plays Carolina, a beautiful bookstore owner who assists Mariachi with his plan.

Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek walking away from burning flames in scene from 'Desperado'
Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek walking away from burning flames in scene from ‘Desperado’ | Columbia Pictures/Getty Images

Hayek struggled to do the sex scene

On an episode of Dax Shepard and Monica Padman’s podcast Armchair Expert, Hayek talked about why doing the sex scene in the movie was so difficult for her.

According to Hayek, the initial script she read for the part didn’t have anything in it about a love-making scene between her character and her co-star. She stated that she was told about it after production had already started. Hayek said that Banderas was her “bro” and the director’s wife at the time, Elizabeth Avellán, was her “best friend.” So she agreed to do the scene on a closed set with only the four of them present.

“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,” she explained to Shepard and Padman. “But he was very free. 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.”

Hayek recalled more about trying to work through the scene remembering: “I was not letting go of the towel. They [other three people in the room] would try to make me laugh. I would take it off for two seconds and start crying again. But we got through it. We did the best with what we could do at the time.”

The scene was shot the only way Hayek could do it

Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek in a scene from 'Desperado'
Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek in a scene from ‘Desperado’ | Columbia Pictures/Getty Images

In addition to the closed set, the scene was shot in quick cuts so Hayek could get through the stops and starts.

“When you’re not you, then you can do it. But I keep thinking of my father and my brother,” she admitted. “And are they going to see it?”

When the film came out Hayek took her dad and sibling to watch it with her. She said they did not stay in the theater for the sex scene and returned after that part was over.