The 'Frida' star discovered her inner John McClane for the new, mayhem-packed thriller

Salma Hayek’s new action movie Everly may come as a something of a shock to fans who are used to seeing her in less mayhem-filled material. “It’s one of those movies where you’ve got to be a little selective [about] who watches it,” says the film’s director Joe Lynch (Wrong Turrn 2, Chillerama). “Most people go, ‘Oh, Salma Hayek? I can’t wait!’ And then you go, ‘This is not Grown Ups 3. This is not Frida 2. This is a completely different beast.”

In the film, which opens theatrically Feb. 27, Hayek plays a prostitute who must fight off wave after wave of assassins in a single apartment after attempting to inform on her boss, a yakuza gangster. As Hayek’s titular character gets increasingly bruised and battered in the course of the shot-in-sequence movie, Lynch found himself ordering the Mexican actress and famous beauty be slathered with more and more filth and gore during the production. “Every time we slapped blood or a bruise or a scrape on her, I was sitting there going, ‘I’m destroying a perfect work of art!'” he says. It’s like Pollock coming in and splattering paint all over the Mona Lisa. I mean, she’s divine. She was just so game from day one to jump into the fray. She kept on asking for more blood and more grime on her.”

Lynch was originally inspired to make the film by his love for Die Hard and the director’s desire to put his own claustrophobic spin on John McTiernan’s much-imitated action classic. “All I’d grown up with was, ‘It’ s Die Hard on a bus!’, ‘It’s Die Hard on a boat!’, ‘It’s Die Hard on something!'” he says. “I thought, Okay, what’s the most micro level of that? And then Buried came out and I’m like, ‘Dammit, it’s Die Hard in a coffin!’ But I have Salma, and a lot of guns, and Yakuza guys. So, screw you, Ryan Reynolds!”

Lynch and select cast and crew members will be attending screenings of Everly at the Vineland Drive-in, City of Industry, CA. on Feb. 27 and at the Music Hall Theater in Beverly Hills on Feb. 28. Everly is currently available to watch on VOD and iTunes.