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Tarantin- toe job!; SCREEN INTERVIEW: Salma Hayek; He wrote movie scene so he could lick wh isky off Salma's sexy feet;.

Unknown Mexican beauty Salma Hayek had cult director Quentin Tarantino worshipping at her feet.

On the set of his latest movie, Dusk Till Dawn, the actress raised temperatures so much it sparked a squabble between Tarantino and his co-star, ER heart- throb George Clooney.

The pair couldn't agree which of their characters would lick whisky from Salma's toes. The problem was solved when Pulp Fiction director Tarantino pulled rank as the writer and producer.

"Quentin wrote that scene for himself," laughs 27-year-old Salma, who worked with the movie's director, Robert Rodriguez, on Desperado.

"George was complaining because I get to beat him up. I abuse him and call him my slave.


"He asked Quentin: 'How come I get beaten up and you get to suck her toes?'"

The bizarre scene is typical of a Tarantino movie and Dusk Till Dawn is wackier than most - a vampire tale with a twist. Clooney and Tarantino are the Gecko brothers, two dangerous criminals on the run.

They head for Mexico and fall into the clutches of Santanico Pandemonium (Salma) a stripper with a taste for blood.

She attracts the boys' attention by performing an erotic dance with a 12ft python.

Although Salma wasn't daunted by the prospect of working with Tarantino and co-stars Harvey Keitel and Juliette Lewis, performing with a snake was a major obstacle.

"Three months before we shot the scene, I would freak out if I saw a snake," Salma says. "I'd start screaming and crying."

Fortunately, on the advice of Rodriguez, specialist help purged Salma of her phobia.

Of course, sheer determination played its part, too. Salma has always had plenty of it and says she knew she wanted to act, even as a girl.

Born in the small town of Coatzacoalcos in south east Mexico, she had a privileged upbringing in a wealthy family.

They were waited on by maids and driven around by chauffeurs, leaving the young Salma with plenty of time to play let's-pretend games.

In her favourite she was a gypsy.

"I loved to pretend as a girl. I'd be a gypsy and would be furious if anyone used my real name," she says.

Salma can be sure her name will be on everyone's lips from now on, despite the fact that when she first arrived in Los Angeles she spoke very little English.

"I always knew I would be a star one day, but it was hard to wait. I just wished it would happen there and then."

Perhaps it's this ambition that keeps Salma single for the time being.

"I don't have a boyfriend, I'm not dating anybody for once in my life," she says.

"Normally I would get involved with someone on the set but my agent has brainwashed me. He says it would give me a bad reputation."

You can't help thinking the agent should have warned her about Tarantino and Clooney, too.


Salma's fear of snakes was such that writer Tarantino wanted to cut the snake scene.

But director Robert Rodriguez insisted it stayed and the actress resorted to a series of cures as bizarre as anything Tarantino himself might have dreamed up.

Salma turned to hypnotism, meditation and dream work.

"Eventually, I could touch the snake with one finger, but I was running out of time," she says. At the last minute Hollywood producer and mystic Moctevuma Esparza came to her aid.

She says: "Moctevuma believes that fear is located in one part of the body as blocked energy. To unblock it he hits you, then starts drawing on you with his hands.

"When I left his office the phobia was gone. When we came to film I actually enjoyed the dance a lot."
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Beck, Sally
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 30, 1996
Previous Article:It's just batty; From Dusk Till Dawn (18, 107mins).

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