Salma Hayek Gets Her 'FREAK' On

The Mexican beauty plays a bearded lady in Paul Weitz's adaptation of Darren Shan's Cirque du Freak.
"Salma Hayek is a freak, and I’ve always loved her for it," wrote JOSH TYLER at Cinema Blend. "Now she'll actually play one on screen."

Oscar nominee Salma Hayek (Frida) returns to cinemas in the Universal Studios horror picture Cirque du Freak, reports Variety's TATIANA SIEGEL. It is the first role for the Mexican-born actor-producer since giving birth in September to daughter Valentina Paloma Pinault.

Paul Weitz (American Dreamz) is directing, and he also will share producing duties with Lauren Shuler Donner (X-Men).

Adaptated by Oscar Winner Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential) from the children's book series by Darren Shan, Cirque du Freak centers on a 14-year-old boy (Chris J. Kelly) who becomes assistant to vampire Larten Crepsley (John C. Reilly, Chicago) at an illegal freak show. The eventual revelation of the boy as a half-vampire escalates tensions between the vampires and the Vampanese.

"We don't know what that means," admitted, "but it's probably bad."

Hayek will play Madame Truska, the bearded lady.

"When I first stumbled on this story, I was kind of hoping Salma would end up playing some sort of sexy vampiress, or even the deadly spider," commented Cinema Blend's Tyler, who added "you might think it impossible to make Salma Hayek ugly, but even she can’t make excessive hair on a woman sexy. Frida left me impotent for at least a week, and that was just upper lip hair. I may not be able to handle a full beard."

An executive producer of ABC's Emmy-winning comedy series Ugly Betty, Hayek won Mr. Skin's top honors for 2006's best nude scene for the Robert Towne film Ask the Dust. Her surprise pregnancy at age 40 made fiance' Francois Henri Pinault one of the most envied men on the planet.

Production of Cirque du Freak begins in February.

[Additional information from UPI.]
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