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TV Guide Interview

Femme fatale extraordinaire Salma Hayek hasn't yet snagged a role equal to her blinding star power, but the feminine wiles on display in From Dusk Till Dawn and Desperado) have won her a dedicated flock of followers. As Wild Wild West, Hayek's highest-profile and highest-grossing film yet hits theaters, Hayek also wants to get the word out about The Velocity of Gary, a low-budget indie she stars in and co-produced. Hayek talks with TV Guide Online about her skimpy Wild Wild West costumes, getting mooned on the set and the mysterious The Velocity of Gary. Don't forget to listen to the audio clips.

Tell us your take on Rita, the character you play in Wild West West.

I think this role is very fun, because Rita is this woman who has gotten herself into this adventure. She is on a mission. She is a little bit naive, and she doesn't quite know what she is doing although she thinks she does. She gets herself into trouble at the same time that she is naive, she is a little manipulative and clever. At the end of the day she gets her way. It's all for a good reason and it's all in a fun way.

Your part seemed too small was it cut in the editing process?

I can tell you that right now: It's exactly the same size. They think they gave me this... they think this is a huge part for a Mexican girl. But that's what you get as a female lead in a big action film, because they have to distribute the time between the two heroes, the bad guy, the [mechanical] tarantula, the special effects and then the girl.

How did you feel wearing all that fancy underwear?

It wasn't very comfortable, especially after lunch. One time I tried to keep it really wasn't that tight, but I said, "I am just going to leave it loose." Like, where I could move inside. Barry [Sonnenfeld, the director] started staring at me, and looking, and putting the camera in a different place and looking through the thing. I said, "Okay Barry, I know what you are looking for. I'll tighten the damn thing." He noticed it right away.

You're also in a small movie called The Velocity of Gary that's coming out July 16. What can you tell us about it?

The movie is a love story. It's about this girl who just lives for the moment and doesn't have any plans for the future and doesn't have a job. She doesn't care about anything but this one man, who is her life. This man is going to die; he is in love with her, but he is also in love with another man. She is completely irresponsible and lives in denial and now she has to grow up and take care of him. She has to let that other man that she hates in, and between the two of them they have to walk this man that they both love through death. They are both not equipped for this job, but together they sort of have to do it. It's a modern tragedy. I think what it's about is family; it's about people who don't have families, so they go to the streets and find a family there.

There's a scene in Wild Wild West in which your rear end is hanging out: Were you embarrassed?

I was very embarrassed and I was very nervous, but my co-stars helped me very much. When I come out [in that scene], I come out, I talk to them, then I turn around and you see a little bit of my butt. So I come out, and they are mooning me: Their butts are where their faces are supposed to be. So I was very professional and very serious and said my lines to Kevin [Kline]'s butt. Then Will [Smith] talked and I turned around and talked to Will's butt. So by the time I turned around and knew they were seeing a little peek-a-boo of my butt, it didn't feel bad, because I saw the whole thing.