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Salma Hayek has had a tumultuous year. In a conversation with Variety published today, the actress revealed she’s spent the better part of the past year recovering from a serious case of COVID-19—one she describes as “near fatal.”
“My doctor begged me to go to the hospital because it was so bad,” Hayek recalls. “I said, ‘No, thank you. I’d rather die at home.’” After spending seven weeks in isolation—she was even put on oxygen at one point—the 54 year-old is on the mend, though she’s still working to find the energy she once had.
During her interview, the actress also shares details on her 2017 essay for The New York Times accounting her sexual harassment and bullying by Harvey Weinstein, noting she entered a significant depression after it was published. “It was so hard because I chose not to be a victim even though I was a victim. I had to convince myself that I’m a fighter and above all else, a survivor,” she says. “When all this happened with the Harvey story, I didn’t know that it happened to so many women. I went into such a depression for months. It really took an army of women to make me see I was a true survivor, and a true fighter.”
Hayek credits her husband’s support for ushering her through the tough time. “Although he was shocked that I didn’t tell him the details of what I had gone through, and he was upset that I didn’t tell him and that we were around [Weinstein], he was amazing. A lot of people were upset with me. Friends were upset with me that I didn’t tell them what really happened. Then I thought, I have to do it. Afterwards, a lot of people wrote to me. A lot from the industry said, “This happened to me.”’
But all this hasn’t stopped the industry veteran from working. Hayek returns to the big screen next month, starring in Patrick Hughes’ Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard alongside Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson. Unlike the film’s prequel The Hitman’s Bodyguard, the movie will focus heavily on Hayek’s character, Sonia Kincaid, a role the actress says she’s had a huge hand in crafting.
“I said [to Hughes], ‘Let’s make it really interesting and talk about menopause in a funny way.’ Imagine if you have a character that’s already crazy and then add those hormones,” Hayek told Variety. Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is set to be released on June 16.
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