December 22, 1999
Salma Hayek has inked to star in the comedy
"La Gran Vida" (The Great Life), a low-budget
pic from fledgling Spanish production outfit
This marks the first time the Mexican-born
thesp has committed to shooting a movie in
Spain. Comedy will also be the feature film
debut of local TV helmer Antonio Cuadri and
will be budgeted around 700 million peseta
($4.3 million) - a decent budget by local
Cesar Benitez will produce for BesoBeso, a
joint venture of his shingle, BocaBoca Prods.,
and Felipe Ortiz's distrib/exhib house,
In a move typical of European TV-funded
co-productions, "Vida" will be co-produced by
Spanish private web Tele 5, which will provide
50% of the coin. The web plans to co-fund and
roll out another four BesoBeso pics, according
"We are absolutely thrilled with both the
project and having Salma aboard," said
Ghislain Barrois, Tele 5's managing director of
acquisitions and co-productions. "And as far as
Spain is concerned, we'll be able to show what
can be done with a network really backing up a
film." Pic has no distribution yet.
In the movie, Hayek will play Lola, a Mexican
waitress working in Madrid who befriends a
30-year-old suicidal man (Carmelo Gomez,
"Vacas"), who has borrowed $1 million to
blow on his last day on Earth, knowing he'll be
killed anyway if he fails to return the dough.
Having met Lola, however, he decides that life
may be worth living after all.
Co-scripted by hot young Spanish director
Fernando Leon ("Barrio") and Carlos Asorey
from an original idea by Cuadri and Alex
Garcia Ortell, pic will lense in Madrid for nine
weeks, starting Jan. 27.
The Hollywood-based Hayek has said earlier
she'd be interested in working with the Spanish
film industry if the right script came along.