NY Mirror

The most follicly conscious premiere was El Museo del Barrio's screening of Julie Taymor's Frida, starring Salma Hayek as—no, not the woman who sang "Band of Gold," but the hairy, impassioned Mexican artist. (Yep, move over, Basquiat. Get away, Pollock. There's a new artist in town, and this one's a dame!) The stunning Hayek arrived looking like a perfect porcelain doll, but with a serious demeanor that spells actress. (No Wild Wild West sequels for this little lady. Besides, she's already moved on to directing.) Did she have to fight for the role? I wondered, cornering her for a quickie chat. "You know that," Hayek replied, admonishingly. Thrown off, I found myself sputtering the kind of rotten-assed, hokey utterance I usually detest: "Was the film a wonderful journey?" (No wonder people suddenly think I'm in magic instead of journalism.) "Yes, it was a wonderful journey," Hayek responded, dazed, and sat down amid flashbulbs.

Come showtime, Taymor made a speech about her wonderful you know, and then she brought up Hayek, revealing, "She's mad at me because she doesn't want to talk! She talks for two hours in the film." After the movie, Taymor told me that Hayek—I mean Kahlo—never painted herself smiling because "She didn't have good teeth." But the woman gladly documented her own facial hair and even exaggerated it, to fuck with gender expectations. In the flick, Hayek looks hirsute mostly as the older Kahlo, though she sports a Matt Dillon-like unibrow throughout. (The Hairspray wig guy would approve.) A potentially hairier issue, Kahlo's bisexuality, is mercifully addressed, with hot sauce. "The words weren't used," said Taymor. "It was just an expression of her sexuality, period. That's why for the poster we used both the male and the female Frida. But my feeling is that whether she slept with men or women, she loved her husband, Diego Rivera. Some people want things differently, but I say, 'Were you in the bedroom?' " No, but I've seen In the Bedroom. At this point, a man came from behind and enthusiastically hugged Taymor, and since it was Harvey Weinstein—her boss, whom she'd recently dissed to a gossip column—I let them bond and go on a wonderful journey together.

Hair and now: Frida's Salma Hayek at El Museo del Barrio
photo: Miles Ladin
Hair and now: Frida's Salma Hayek at El Museo del Barrio

And now, would someone kindly get this biblical broccoli out of my three-salad special?

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