May 20th, 2010
10:10 AM ET

Salma Hayek Pinault: I’m a different, better person

Salma Hayek PinaultSalma Hayek Pinault made headlines last year when she stopped to nurse a baby during a goodwill trip to Sierra Leone.

Everyone else was taken aback by her impromptu breastfeeding, but Hayek Pinault told InStyle that she “didn’t think much of it,” and “was so surprised how much attention it got.”

“This baby was hungry and I was still nursing [my daughter] Valentina, so I fed the child,” Hayek Pinault said. “What was shocking were the hate letters I received. What offended some in particular was that I breast-fed a black child. It was not even in my universe, such a thought. For me, it was a baby who was just born and was hungry. He was healthy but malnourished at this hospital – it was really just a clinic in the countryside – and I was able to help.”

But Hayek Pinault already knows she doesn’t think the same as everyone else. Unlike others in her industry, the actress isn’t interested in getting any surgical tweaks, or even Botox – and she can raise her eyebrows to prove it.

When it comes to married life, Hayek Pinault said her husband, the wealthy Frenchman François-Henri Pinault, has made it easy for them to be in love despite any potential cultural differences. “He’s so open, and his family is too – so international - and fascinating and warm,” she said. “I only speak French to his children. I don’t know how, but they understand my French. Plus, he and I have the same interests, which is wonderful. Like soccer.”

Realizing how happy she was in this phase of her life is also what led her to change her name to Hayek Pinault.

After Valentina asked Hayek Pinault why she didn’t have François-Henri's last name on the back of her on-set chair along with "Hayek," the actress said to herself, “This is who I am now. I am starting a whole new life. I’ve never been happier. Why shouldn’t I share it with people who have been supporting me my whole career, who have been with me since the beginning?”

It’s true she’s a private person, Hayek Pinault went on, “but I should let them in on the fact that I’m a different person, a better person. It’s a new life.”

To read the full interview, pick up InStyle's June issue, on sale May 21.

Filed under: Celebrities • movies

soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Victoria

    Your a wonderful person. Any woman with a heart and breast feeding would do the same. It was great to hear that
    you will never have botox, for once a actress that is truly beautiful from the inside out!! I only hope to grow old with as much beauty and grace, and I'm 52!

    June 21, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sergio

    Salma you are wonderful! Thank you for being yourself

    May 26, 2010 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  3. Gill

    Salma rocks! What a beautiful thing to do! I can't believe people were negative about it?? Who cares where the baby is from – it was a hungry baby. Babies are so beautiful and gift from God. I'm still shaking my head at those negative comments about the baby being black. Salma is amazing!!! And yes motherhood is also a gift – thanks for passing it on Salma like cicisbo mentioned.
    God bless you Madame Pinault!

    Hendricks – get your eyes checked or rechecked.

    May 22, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. viva mexico cabrones

    Pinches gueros hijos de la chingada. viva salma, vima mexico cabrones

    May 20, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. kim

    GO SALMA!! you're a strong, independent woman who's working to make the world a better place. good for you, i'd "use" my celebrity for my special causes too if i could! it's far more important than LiLo's passport woes!!!!!!

    May 20, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jonni Lynch

    I have always liked Salma, and I can think of very few women more beautiful. She is obviously beautiful inside AND out. Makes me proud to be a momma!

    May 20, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Yolonda

    God Bless you Salma, for helping a child in need! Keep it up!

    May 20, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. cicisbo

    It's a beautiful thing, to give nourishment to a child. Of course I suppose in today's society that's an act of disgrace because people couldn't see beyond the fact that this baby was starving. Who cares if this child was black, or that the child wasn't hers. To be a mother is a gift from God, and she was extending this gift onto this baby. Not many people in this world can be so unselfish.

    May 20, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tessa M

    Good for you, Salma. I cannot believe that ANYONE would put the color of a child's skin in front of feeding a starving child. I would have done the same!!

    May 20, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Lorri

    Thank god there are unselfish people like her in the world. She is a mother, that saw a hungry child and her natural instinct was to feed the baby! Who cares what color either is. I too was stunned by the negative attention she received. She should be praised and commended for such acts!

    May 20, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Head Diva In Charge

    I have always really liked and respected Salma. Can't wait to read the In Style article.

    May 20, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |

    No surgical tweaks ? She had a very obvious nose job. Her nose was quite large initially. The tip is much much smaller now. Just check pictures of her in her first movies.

    May 20, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. barry g

    She is still HOT!!!

    May 20, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Futon Torpedo

    Salma, you shouldn't have even given that issue any of your time and attention. You did a good be it.

    May 20, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  15. Holly Golightly

    Nursing rocks and so do you!

    May 20, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  16. Renee Fersner

    I love Salma always have and what she did for that baby made me love her even more.....Salma you're perfect thank your mother and father for those great genes.....LOVE YOU GIRL

    May 20, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  17. Holly Golightly

    Salma is wonderful! I love her! She has so much integrity and class...

    May 20, 2010 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |

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