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Jay Leno, November 23, 1999
Transcript by Jacinda

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Jay Leno: My first guest, beautiful, talented, young actress whose films include Desperado, Wild Wild West.. she's also co-starring in the controversial new film Dogma which is in theaters right now. Please welcome our buddy Salma Hayek. [music, Salma enters] You look lovely.

Salma Hayek: Thank you, Jay.

JL: I love dark haired girls.

SH: Thank you.

JL: I like your hair, you look great.

SH: You look lovely, too.

JL: Thank you, I used to have dark hair when I was younger.

SH: You can tell, you can tell.

JL: You can tell, you can still see some.. isn't that nice? Let me ask you, have you ever been to seaworld?

SH: No, I've never been to seaworld, but I've been kissed by a dolphin.

JL: Kissed by a dolphin?

SH: Yes.

JL: In your apartment?

SH: No, no, no. One time I jumped into this place where dolphins were where I was not supposed to jump in.

JL: You mean the ocean?

SH: No, no. It was a place where they just have a seaworld. You know. I just jumped in. I just could not help myself. It was love at first sight. I saw this dolphin and I just threw myself at him.

JL: Really?

SH: I had a bathing suit. They had around waterslides and stuff.

JL: Oh I see.

SH: And I started making noises to the dolphin and he just came and kissed me on the lips.

JL: And we have a picture. Let's see.

SH: There we are. [photos is shown]

JL: Oh, look at that.. and the dolphin.. ah.. [applause]

JL: Now you told me before.. you told me you had insomnia?

SH: Yes.

JL: You have trouble sleeping?

SH: Very bad problem with insomnia.

JL: You know, I could help you out then. Nah, I'm being silly. Really having trouble sleeping?

SH: Yes, I do.

JL: Why? Why do you have trouble sleeping?

SH: I don't know.. because I am very creative and I am always trying to..

JL: Maybe it's what you are wearing. What are you wearing usually?

SH: No, I've tried everything.. nothing..

JL: You tried nothing.. Well, nothing worked..

SH: Yes. Nothing works, you know.

JL: So what do you do? Do you have cures?

SH: Yes. You know, people are always trying to tell you the most ridiculous cures like you have to soak in in a bath with lettuce.

JL: Lettuce? I've never heard of that. Why would you soak in lettuce?

SH: I don't know. Because that's supposed to be relaxing. My friend Mia from Argentina told me to put my feet in hot water with mustard. Take a mustard bath for the feet. I haven't quite tried that one.

JL: Yeah. I would stick with lettuce. [laughter]

SH: Yeah. Make myself a salad and then go to bed. My favorite one is the counting of the sheep.

JL: The counting of the sheep. [laughter]

SH: Yeah. I count the sheep.

JL: How many do you get up to?

SH: I've gotten to 7000, you know. [laughter]

JL: Really?

SH: Eventually, you go to sleep.

JL: You would think the sun would come up by 7000.

SH: Yeah, probably you get one hour of sleep.

JL: If you loose count, you go back and start?

SH: Yes. But you know sometimes it's not very pratical because I am doing this movie Time Code 2000 with Mike Figgis and there is no script. We're improvising..

JL: There's no script. That can be troublesome.

SH: Trust me, no script. So I find myself, like without a lot of sleep, I find myself talking about sheep all the time. People start telling me things and all I improvise is "and the sheep came and the sheep". All I can think of are the sheep that I was counting the night before. So it's not working for me.

JL: That's not working.

SH: No.

JL: So what do you do? In the middle of the night, you can't sleep. What do you do? Is there a ritual you have?

SH: No, I don't have a ritual but I get a creative bust. Then I start doing weird things.

JL: Really?

SH: Yes. For example I would decide I am going to make the best body lotion that's ever been made.

JL: That was gonna be my guess. You gonna make the best body lotion? You know, it seems to work.

SH: Yes. It does. And I start making..

JL: How do you make body lotion? What do you do?

SH: Well, I take existing body lotion and start mixing them up with like oils and honey and maybe perfumes and stuff.. and sometimes you have to throw it all away, you know, but during the night it was very entertaining. [laughter]

JL: Well, I can see how that can be entertaining in the middle of the night.

SH: Sometimes it works but if you want to repeat it you're in trouble.

JL: So what's the craziest thing you've done?

SH: In the middle of an insomnia attack? You know what's really fun? Well, it doesn't work anymore but I used to call people like at 3 or 4 in the morning. [laughter]

JL: You used to call people and they must really enjoy that.

SH: You pretend you have the wrong number but you go like [changes her voice] "Jay, hello Jay! I am calling you from Egypt" "Who's this?" "This is your aunt Rose". But you know Star 69..

JL: Star 69..

SH: Yeah and the other one, the caller ID.

JL: Yeah the caller ID. They have taken all the fun out of that. How could your friends not know when you went "hello, this is"? I mean I.. [laughter] Can you do an accent? Can you fake an accent?

SH: No.

JL: You see, then they would know it's you. Tell me about Dogma. You know, I haven't had a chance to go and see a screening. I'm sorry I didn't see it. But it cause a lot of controversy. So you're Catholic. Are you upset about the movie? Because a lot of Catholics seem to be upset.

SH: No. I'm not upset about it.

JL: You're working with Matt Damon, right? And Ben? A lot of handsome men in this movie.

SH: Yes and Chris Rock and Linda Fiorentino.

JL: Did these guys all flirt with you? Did they all hit on you?

SH: No. Not at all.

JL: Really?

SH: They were not paying attention to me. But they do something funny. Every time on of these members of this cast saw me, especially at the beginning, they would start, like thinking of the one song they know in Spanish, you know, words in it like.. for example Ben would go "oh yeah, como va". And then I would go walk by Matt and he would go "Besame, besame mucho". They sing to themselves. And Linda would sing "Quanta namera" and Kevin Smith would always sing "La Cucaracha, la cucaracha". [laughter] And Chris Rock would sing "Feliz navidad". And by the end of the movie, I was thinking this is never gonna happen to me again, because this big cast has gone through all the songs in Spanish. And then I went to my next movie which is Chain of Fools and I work with Jeff Goldblum. And the first thing he says to me is 'Living La Vida Loca'. [laughter]

JL: That's the thing. That's what's happening, the Latin thing. That's what it is. What do you play in this movie?

SH: I play a muse.

JL: A muse? Like a spirit?

SH: Inspiration.

JL: You're an inspiration. That works for me. Now let's take a look.

SH: Well, I'm a former muse.

[excerpt from Dogma]

JL: Congratulations. Dogma is in theaters right now. And you are going to Kosovo?

SH: Yes. I am going to Kosovo on Monday. And to Macedonia.

JL: And what are you doing in Kosovo?

SH: I am serving dinner for the soldiers. Thanksgiving Dinner.

JL: That should be fun. [applause] Are you gonna perform?

SH: Well, Jay, I wanted to ask you advice on this. I don't know what I am going to do for them.

JL: Well, you don't really know what to do for those men over there really? [laughter]

SH: Do you have any jokes for me?

JL: I'll give you some jokes. The men would love to hear some jokes. I'll give you some good jokes. Allright, Salma Hayek!