December 9th, 2010
04:48 PM ET
As the illegal immigration debate rages on, one of Hollywood's heavyweights is weighing in with her own experience: Salma Hayek.
The Mexican-born star recounted in the Spanish edition of V magazine the brief period of time when she was an illegal immigrant in the States.
"It was for a small period of time but I still did it," the 44-year-old told the magazine, according to E! News.
E! reports that Hayek was studying acting in 1991 in Los Angeles when her visa expired. Hayek’s rep confirmed the quote to E!, adding that the situation was quickly resolved with Hayek going to Mexico and renewing it.
The “Frida” star, who is now an American citizen, said there were other barriers when she was starting out in Hollywood.
"I had to endure the worst time of all in terms of racial discrimination in Hollywood when I first started out," she told V magazine. "It was inconceivable to American directors and producers that a Mexican woman could have a lead role."
But Hollywood is changing, slowly but surely, Hayek said.
"Hollywood has definitely grown, in embracing the inclusion of Latinos in the world, because, for some time, we didn't exist. We were not part of any stories," she noted.
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