Ohhh!! Now I wanna go!!

Hayek Bares Body, Soul for ‘Dust’
After initially rejecting her “Ask the Dust” role, Salma Hayek learned to love the character
Robert Towne (“Chinatown”) is one of Hollywood’s legendary screenwriters, but when Salma Hayek initially got his script for “Ask the Dust,” she turned him down flat.
“What happened was that he gave me the script eight years ago and I did not understand the character and I thought she was an awful human being and racist and she wanted to be American and I just did not have vision to see the subtleties of the character,” Hayek reflects.
In “Dust,” Hayek plays Camilla, a fiery Mexican waitress in Depression Era Los Angeles whose desire to assimilate is complicated by her passionate love affair with fledgling writer Arturo Bandini (Colin Farrell), a first-generation Italian. The John Fante adaptation is a passion project for Towne, though Hayek shunned the book to form her own interpretation with the writer-director. Farrell gave her a first edition as a wrap present.
“I started to read it on the plane and I was sobbing,” she says. “I put it away. I got home a week or two later, I couldn’t read the book because I missed her so much.”
Even many months later, Hayek tears up thinking about Camilla.
“My inspiration for this character was I thought of all the women in the history of the Earth that inspired a man and these men never told her, that in some way touched the life of a man and maybe the man didn’t notice until they were not together anymore,” she explains.
Hayek is almost more comfortable discussing the film’s graphic nude scenes, including a skinny-dipping scene that was supposed to be filmed at the ocean near the South Africa sets, until there was a change of plans.
“The actual ocean, not only would it have been just as cold, but a week before we arrived, somebody got eaten by a shark exactly where we were going to shoot,” she laughs.
The scene was ultimately shot in a tank, which did nothing to add warmth, as she notes, “Of course, the Irish guy was fine, but the Mexican girl gets hypothermia.”
Despite his disproportionate ability to brave the elements, Farrell earns nothing but praise from Hayek, particularly for his handling of the potentially awkward love scenes.
“Out he comes, butt-naked from the trailer jumping and doing the line dance,” Hayek says. “I started laughing. It was most ridiculous thing. Everybody started laughing and he did it because of that, to relax me, because me I was really tense.”
She continues, “Then, I have to say, that he never, when we were doing the scene, he not once looked down. I sometimes talk to guys and I am dressed and they talk to me this [she mimics somebody staring at her chest] where it’s ‘Oh. Yeah. Uh-huh.’ They don’t know they’re doing that. Colin was, for all his reputation, I was expecting, you know, ‘What’s he going to do? Is gonna try to get too funny here?’ Never. Never took his eyes off mine.”
Viewers can keep their eyes on Hayek when “Ask the Dust” opens on Friday, March 10.