Salma Hayek gets things done


Salma Hayek is sort of amazing. Not amazing as in the most talented actress in the business, and not amazing solely for her looks — though just two days ago she won a Hottest Celebrity in the World e-poll.

No, she’s amazing because the woman knows how to get things done, and that’s not easy, especially for a woman. A 5’2″, 40-year-old Mexican woman? In the entertainment industry? Industry implies money, big money, and she’s a player. ¡Excelente!

With the announcement yesterday of the Emmy nominations, it struck me that she has made it her business in this 21st century to push forward the projects she enjoys, follow the projects all the way through and release them for public consumption. Having your hand in many fires is the status quo in Hollywood. But Hayek’s follow-through and release make what she does really admirable. From the lips of countless actors-turned-producers, some even with their own production companies, how often have we heard, “Yes, I have a few things in the works” — but the few things never quite materialize on screen for anyone to ever see the few things that were supposedly working. I guess they didn’t work? But Salma Hayek gets projects to the screen. And even more interesting is that the projects she produces and helps to push forward are usually met with some measure of success once they are released to the masses.

Beginning with Frida, Hayek was on the map as a producer. Producer is a noun, and the noun implies that one produces a final product with an end result. So why are there so many self-titled “producers” in L.A. who can’t quite name their final product? I recall the roadblocks and difficulties Hayek faced getting Frida to the screen, but her enthusiasm never waned, and ultimately there it was on the big screen. And when it arrived, it did so with decent reviews and with beautiful art and set direction as well as costume design, eventually finding itself nominated for Oscars. She, too, was nominated, but after that journey to the screen, she was much more than an actress in that film.

Hayek followed the Frida success in 2004 with a Daytime Emmy win for Outstanding Directing in a Children/Youth/Family Special in The Maldonado Miracle, which was also nominated for Outstanding Children/Youth/Family Special that year. From that success, she got acting jobs, but all the while she worked behind the scenes to get Yo Soy Betty, la Fea to American primetime television. I’m now thoroughly convinced that only Salma Hayek could have done so.

What a big week for Salma Hayek. No, I take that back: What a big year. She’s engaged to be married, she’s expecting her first child, at age 40 she’s still considered “hot,” she has a role in Across the Universe (to be released in September) and she received a primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for Ugly Betty. And what may be even sweeter regarding yesterday’s Emmy announcement is that she is nominated as an executive producer too, with Ugly Betty‘s nod for Outstanding Comedy Series. Yes, that is a big and full year indeed. And based on the assumption that Hayek must enjoy calling the shots behind the scenes and working to bring the best people to the table to provide the best quality she can for a project, I would guess that having Ugly Betty nominated for 11 Emmys had to be a great feeling. It was for me, and I’m merely a viewer.

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