Salma Hayek’s 6 Most Badass Roles

Drew Dietsch

Salma Hayek has always been a welcome presence on the big screen. The Mexican-American actress has been lighting up the screen for over twenty years, and we here at FANDOM are still hungry for more. Thankfully, we got one of Hayek’s most deliciously fun performances in The Hitman’s Bodyguard. Check out this NSFW trailer that gives you a taste of how awesome (and foul-mouthed) Hayek is in the film.

After seeing that, we decided to pull together all of Hayek’s most badass roles. If you like what you see in The Hitman’s Bodyguard, here are six more films you should check out.

Carolina in Desperado

This was the role that introduced many American audiences to Hayek and we’re very happy it did. 1995’s Desperado is littered with thrilling action sequences and it takes quite a lot for someone to keep up with the explosive lifestyle of the main character, El Mariachi. Hayek’s Carolina is more than up to the task though. She even gets to walk away from an explosion! That’s pretty much a prerequisite for being a cool action hero. This is a great way to introduce yourself to Salma Hayek’s unique brand of awesome.

Santanico Pandemonium in From Dusk Till Dawn

If you asked me to name some of the most memorable vampire characters in cinema, there is no doubt that Santanico Pandemonium from 1996’s From Dusk Till Dawn would be on that list. Hayek plays a jaw-droppingly sultry barroom dancer who just happens to be the leader of a nest of bloodthirsty vamps. Hayek is not only the epitome of gorgeous in the film but she’s also a force to be reckoned with. Just seeing her send George Clooney flying with one smack is enough to qualify her as a badass.

Frida Kahlo in Frida

Being a badass doesn’t just mean being able to punch, kick, and shoot people. It also means standing up for yourself and pursuing what you want out of life. A great example of this was artist Frida Kahlo, and Hayek’s portrayal of the influential artist in director Julie Taymor’s 2002 biopic is possibly the best role she’s ever played. She was nominated for an Academy Award and she more than deserved it. It may stick out like a sore thumb among these other selections but Frida is just as compelling.

Kitty Softpaws in Puss in Boots

You can’t contain the badassery of Salma Hayek to just live-action films. Hayek lent her voice to the character of Kitty Softpaws in 2011’s Puss in Boots. Kitty is an expert sword fighter, thief, and dancer. She’s more than an equal match for the suave Puss in Boots, and even gives him a run for his money when she first steals some magic beans from Jack and Jill. Fun fact: Puss in Boots is voiced by Antonio Banderas, which means this film reunites the two Desperado alums.

Everly in Everly

If you want to see Salma Hayek in full-on action hero mode (why wouldn’t you?), then you need to get your hands on 2014’s Everly right now. Hayek plays a prostitute who is trapped in an apartment as her Yakuza boss sends tons of henchmen to kill her. Hayek gets to do a ton of killer action scene stuff like shooting huge guns and fighting with ninja weapons. And her character does it all with the cool swagger of someone like John Wick. If you only see one movie on this list, Everly is it.

Elena in Savages

Why doesn’t Salma Hayek play more villains? She can be incredibly menacing when she wants to be. There is no better proof of that than her role as Elena in Savages from 2012. Hayek gets to play an archetypical role – a ruthless cartel boss – but adding a feminine spin to it gives it a whole new level of villainy. Hayek knows how to be scary without ever going over the top. This is a film that’s fallen through the cracks. That’s a shame because Hayek’s performance is definitely one to see.

Drew Dietsch
Drew Dietsch is an Entertainment Editor at FANDOM. He hosts a weekly film review podcast at his site, as well as the shark movies podcast Fin Flicks. If you need someone to talk about Jaws, RoboCop, horror movies, or why Batman Forever is highly underrated, Drew is your guy.
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