In some ways, Salma Hayek's new movie "Beatriz at Dinner" is a case of art imitating life. In her new role, Hayek stars as a masseuse who sometimes works for a wealthy family.
"I play Beatriz, a holistic healer who goes to a house to give a massage," Hayek said in appearance on "Popcorn With Peter Travers." "Something happens that I get stuck in a dinner that they’re having and this is very wealthy people that are very powerful, successful, very well dressed. And she's going to have this nice dinner with them and their very important guests. And she’s not dressed like them," explained Hayek.
- Salma Hayek appears on Popcorn with Peter Travers
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That dinner opens Beatriz's eyes to a completely different experience with the family that include signs of classism, forcing Beatriz to change her outlook on them. Hayek said she knows what her character feels, having been witness to similar experiences.
"I’ve confronted some people and they said I bring the party down," Hayek, 50, told Peter Travers. "With everybody laughing I go, 'I'm sorry. This is not funny.'
And I’ve gone after some people and sometimes I’ve also been the person who didn’t have the courage to speak up and just smiled and let it fly. I’ve been both, but I have done some social damage," she said.
In the film, John Lithgow plays the selfish billionaire who sets off the ruckus with Beatriz.
"He’s a man with self entitlement that feels he is superior to everyone," Hayek said of Lithgow's character. "He is sexist and racist. She realizes soon that all his pleasures are somehow based on other people’s suffering, even if he doesn’t do it on purpose," she said.
Be sure to watch the full interview with Peter Travers and Salma Hayek in the video above.
"Beatriz at Dinner" is in theaters now.